Advertisements

Broadcast Media’s Deafening Silence as Hundreds of Thousands March in Defense of Science

I just want to remind the administration that science is political. It is inherently political like everything else … It’s in the U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, to promote the progress of science and useful arts. That’s what enables innovation, and if our country stops innovating, it will not be able to compete worldwide. —  Bill Nye

*****

Scientists — from luminaries like Michael Mann, Bill Nye, Richard Alley, Gavin Schmidt, Stefan Rahmstorf and Neil deGrasse Tyson, to thousands of humbly toiling researchers for the public good whom you’ve probably never heard of — need our help now more than ever.

(Earth Day’s 2017 March for Science produced an unprecedented outpouring of support for public, non-special-interest-based scientific advancement and research around the world. Unfortunately, despite widespread internet and print coverage, broadcast media barely mentioned the historic event.)

Around the world and in the United States, science budgets are under threat, politically motivated individuals attempt to delete factual information related to public health and safety from science websites, individual scientists are subject to politically motivated attacks by quacks and climate change deniers in the hallowed halls of the U.S. Congress, and the person elected president is willfully scientifically illiterate while openly expressing opinions and pursuing policies that are hostile to fact-based science.

Public Rallies in Support of Scientists Under Threat

On Saturday, April 22nd, in honor of Earth Day, hundreds of thousands of people around the world marched in solidarity with scientists. Their essential jobs, often health, safety, and national security-related, are under threat of expungement by individuals and industries now empowered to attack the very basis of scientific truth. Though spearheaded by anti-science climate change deniers and those who harmfully attack public vaccination programs, the gamut of attacks on scientific understanding extends to research on toxic substances, water quality and security, endangered species, food safety and sustainability, forest resiliency, earth and weather observation and many, many more helpful endeavors.

 

(Saturday’s March for Science drew amazing support from around the globe.)

Weather Underground’s Bob Henson, in his own poignant and heartfelt call to join the march, noted:

For many of us, a prime motivation for marching on Saturday is to express our dismay and anger at the proposed slashing of U.S. federal funding of science that’s now on the table… These proposals run the gamut from medical to atmospheric research; in many areas, they would be the deepest cutbacks in decades. Cuts to ongoing scientific research can be especially problematic. It can take years to gather the people and resources needed for a major study. Once the momentum is disrupted and people scatter, a project may never fully recover. In the world of atmospheric science, satellites and other critical observing tools are especially vulnerable to funding-related problems. We only have one global atmosphere, and there is no substitute for monitoring it as closely as possible—including the effects that human-produced greenhouse gases are having on it. [emphasis added]

The public outpouring in support of these scientists — who often work for modest salaries and generate considerable public good for years and decades following the completion of their work — was tremendous. 610 demonstrations blanketed not just the U.S. but scores of countries and hundreds of cities around the world. Washington, New York, Sydney, London, Denver, L.A. and even Antarctica got involved. Never before in modern history has such an amazing show of support for scientific endeavors by climate scientists and others occurred.

Broadcast Media’s Increasingly Irresponsible Coverage — Or Lack Thereof

And though print media outlets like The Guardian, The New York Times, and The Washington Post provided almost continuous coverage of this historic event, television broadcast news media on Sunday morning following the protest was deafeningly silent. According to Media Matters:

Sunday news shows generally ignored the events that attracted hundreds of thousands of protesters. ABC’s This Week, CBS’ Face the Nation, and NBC’s Meet the Press failed to mention the March for Science at all, according to a Media Matters review. CNN’s State of the Union only had a brief headline about the demonstrations, and Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday only dedicated about one and a half minutes to the story.

Such failure to cover follows a long-running pattern of apparently oblivious or even anti-science-based activity in TV news media. For example, the Presidential debates hosted by big TV networks included zero questions on the key scientific issue of climate change. Broadcast media sources often host climate change deniers — giving quackery, politicization, and long-disproven claims equal time to actual established science. Meanwhile, TV coverage of climate change-related science and events has plummeted even as climate change-related impacts have steadily worsened. At a time when the Earth is the warmest it has ever been since the dawn of human civilization (and probably in at least 115,000 years), when ice caps are melting, seas are rising, the Great Barrier Reef is dying, crops are endangered and cities like Miami are slowly succumbing to the rising tides, such a dearth of coverage is both unconscionable and amoral.

(My father-in-law, a retired rocket scientist for the U.S. Navy, braves the rain to show his support for the Science March. Mainstream broadcast media, however, was sadly mostly AWOL.)

Over the weekend, many of the same networks that have failed to cover the climate crisis also failed to report on the issue of special-interest-based attacks on science, as well as the public protest and outrage over such attacks. This neglectful non-reporting serves to enable climate bad actors and provides cover for those who attack scientists. Even worse, many of these same broadcast news organizations, in the few rare instances when it was mentioned, used the March to provide a platform for climate-change deniers to level attacks against those who support science. Such actions make these broadcast news organizations (of which Fox News is almost always first and worst) at least partially complicit in the assault on science that spurred the Marches in the first place.

At the start of the Science March this past Saturday, Bill Nye so eloquently reminded us that science and its underlying and ever-expanding quest for fact-based truth is a critical cornerstone of our democracy. However, in order for a healthy democracy supportive of the public good to exist, broadcast media’s silence over or denial of critical scientific issues needs to stop. A large subset of the fourth estate of government in the form of independent internet media and various mainstream print media sources have stepped up to the plate when it comes to providing more responsible coverage of climate change and other key science-based issues. It’s time for broadcast media to pull the gigantic plank out of its own eye, wash its mouth out with a large dollop of soap, and follow suit.

(Broadcast media’s failure to adequately or responsibly cover the Science March follows a longer-term trend of reduced science and climate coverage by major TV outlets. In addition, networks like Fox often host climate-change skeptics or deniers, providing a false balance to actual mainstream scientists. Image source: Media Matters.)

The science, along with the foundations of a healthily functioning democracy, is under attack by politically motivated anti-science interests at the exact time that dangers to public health and safety in the form of climate change and increasingly virulent diseases are on the rise. This is a story that needs to be covered. And it is arguably the biggest, most important story in the history of our nation and our race. So to broadcast media we say — pitch in, or get the hell out of the way.

Links:

The March for Science

Why We are Taking Part in the March for Science

March for Science on Earth Day

Sunday Shows Mostly Silent on the March for Science

Historians Say March for Science is Pretty Unprecedented

Every Continent Turned out For Science March

Networks Providing Coverage of Science March Gave Platform to Climate Change Deniers

Why Has Climate Change Been Ignored in U.S. Electoral Debates?

Trump Presses Control+Alt+Delete on Science

Lamar Smith’s Attacks on Science are Funded by the Fossil Fuel Industry

Hat tip to Suzzanne

Hat tip to Robert in New Orleans

Hat tip to Ryan in New England

Hat tip to Colorado Bob

Scientific hat tip to Bob Henson

Special thanks to everyone here and elsewhere who showed up this weekend in support of science

Advertisements
Leave a comment

82 Comments

  1. Stevan

     /  April 25, 2017

    Most journalists know nothing of math and science … look at their college requirements in journalism school. It is not surprising that the last few generations of journalists are largely ignorant of the scientific method and can be easily swayed by the loudest (and monied) voices.

    Like

    Reply
    • Spike

       /  April 26, 2017

      As can be seen in the NYT’s rather pathetic defence of hiring a climate change denier.

      Like

      Reply
    • Honest journalism is a fact-finding endeavor. There’s a method to it that, though not quite as robust as scientific inquiry, is clearly involved in defining and refining facts and in making certain that material presented is factually correct. Putting climate change deniers on broadcast media without calling them to account for obvious anti-factual misrepresentations and, worse, putting them on an equal footing with scientists flies in the face of honest journalistic practice.

      Like

      Reply
  2. vardarac

     /  April 25, 2017

    I was lucky to have picked out a good raincoat for that day in DC, though sadly my colleagues were soaked. I would have accompanied you all on the walk if I had another ride back.

    Like

    Reply
    • It was pretty amazing to see so many showing up. Would have been 50 percent larger at least if not for the rain. 40,000 showed up in the rain in Washington DC alone. And a number of those who did show have been involved in similar actions leading up to the march. That’s resolve.

      Like

      Reply
  3. Keith Antonysen

     /  April 25, 2017

    Sadly, the “march” I attended was stymied by the Municipal Council requiring a large fee for closing roads. The organisers had to cancel the march with little time to inform the public, though people still met at the venue where speeches were conducted. Numbers of participants were down on what could have been expected.

    Something that was great to witness was when an open mic was offered to the audience, some school age youngsters took the opportunity to speak.

    Like

    Reply
  4. coloradobob

     /  April 25, 2017

    Like

    Reply
  5. coloradobob

     /  April 25, 2017

    The Arctic Is a Profoundly Different Place Now
    The changes in the region are so significant they will have implications across the globe

    “We can’t really say the Arctic is going to change, and we can’t really say the Arctic is changing,” he said. “The Arctic has changed. It is different than it was even 10 or 15 years ago. It’s a profoundly different place.”

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-arctic-is-a-profoundly-different-place-now/

    Like

    Reply
  6. coloradobob

     /  April 26, 2017

    Yesterday in Barahona Dominican Republic, three persons are missing.

    Like

    Reply
  7. Dan Borroff

     /  April 26, 2017

    I’ve worked with many communications experts, academics, political, and corporate, and have organized media events for activist groups. My take is the media will not cover more marches because it’s not perceived to be “news” – as in “new”. Tactics must change.

    One approach would be to march on TV stations with specific and angry demands: Assign a panel to meet with climate change activists and experts, assign a climate change desk, etc. Also having a group that monitors media coverage, objecting and praising as appropriate would be essential. Broadcast media has not felt the heat and an angry mob outside the entry would be news in their face.

    A manifesto would also be helpful: 1. We the citizens of the USA (or any country except low lying Pacific Islands) demand that our public institutions, beginning with mainstream media, cover climate science accurately, not as a two sided opinion piece. It’s the civic duty of these media outlets. 2. Divest from fossil fuel funded advertisers or you will be exposed on social media. And add to the list.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  April 26, 2017

      Dan –
      Not a bad set of ideas. But only in the big media towns . I’m not going to raise ” an angry mob outside the entry ” in Lubbock, Texas.

      Secondly , ” an angry mob outside the entry ” plays right into their hands. Read the history of the Homestead Steel strike, America was on the workers side , until they fought the Pinkertons . Then they became , ” an angry mob outside the entry “, and not workers fighting for better pay, and conditions. The union was broken for the next 40 years.

      As for pressure , an E-mail campaign. A good one , with the daily bill from inaction. And not just to the media. Every soul in congress , and their chiefs of staff. The White House , NOAA, the EPA, ect.
      Not a form letter , but Cate sees today , or Andy in SD posted yesterday .
      The only thing about it that has form in the E-mailing addresses That’s a huge block of type.

      But if we had that set of addresses , we could inform Senator Snowball that Peru has just suffered a 9 Billion dollar disaster.

      Like

      Reply
      • Putting pressure directly on media is probably a good tactic. I’d move away from the ‘angry mob’ model, though and more toward the ‘rationally outraged and aggrieved concerned citizen’ model.

        Like

        Reply
    • Josh

       /  April 26, 2017

      I’m in the UK and the silence is not quite so bad here, but I love the idea of marching on TV stations. It is coming to a point (already has reached the point in places) where the silence from media is an active danger and mass media has a duty to be informative on the issue.

      Few things anger me more than media silence and refusal of coverage in the face of the worst crisis humanity has likely ever faced.

      Like

      Reply
      • webej

         /  April 27, 2017

        The silence is a very important issue. Media criticism largely focusses on wrong or partial information. But the true power of the media is in filtering what is or is not important. At its most innocuous you can turn a 4-year old splashing in the fountain into world news. Much of the news, even if covered, merits almost no attention, and never becomes widely known or part of the story. Often the initial front-line trumps all later corrections, sometimes for years. Lots of non-news, things of no historical importance, can monopolize the center of attention of months: two deaths here, important. two thousand deaths there, unimportant. Because these are always judgment calls, it is easy for the media to get away with systematic distortions and outright censorship/propaganda — their finger on the scales is never in plain sight.
        Ignoring climate change is all too easy, such a tedious topic, no feel-good value, and the only drama requires putting deniers into the frame. No place in political debates. Always on the back-burner. Really a matter of no account. And in the meantime … we are squandering the habitat of our children and generations to come. How harsh will be their verdict, I hope so, afraid that they won’t even be there to judge.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
  8. coloradobob

     /  April 26, 2017

    RS –
    2 comments in the spam filter.

    Like

    Reply
  9. coloradobob

     /  April 26, 2017

    I am not a student workers fighting for rights But I am an observer. And I was 6 years old when Emitt Till had a gin fan wired around his neck and was tossed into the Tallahatchie River.
    Angry Mobs, never bring change , they only bring ashes.

    Like

    Reply
  10. coloradobob

     /  April 26, 2017

    I played this to my homeroom 50 years ago.

    Like

    Reply
  11. coloradobob

     /  April 26, 2017

    The greatest album ever ……………..

    Like

    Reply
  12. wili

     /  April 26, 2017

    yes

    we marched

    they ignored us

    again

    better head back to Tennessee, jed!

    Like

    Reply
    • I wouldn’t count the march as a loss at all. Quite to the contrary — it provides the necessary contrast. If people make a moral stand for science and some do not support it, it makes their position more tenuous.

      Like

      Reply
  13. coloradobob

     /  April 26, 2017

    wili
    The media monster won . But only for brief time.

    Hell is still coming to breakfast .

    Like

    Reply
  14. coloradobob

     /  April 26, 2017

    wili

    Cheer up

    Like

    Reply
  15. Andy_in_SD

     /  April 26, 2017

    The Electric-Car Boom Is So Real Even Oil Companies Say It’s Coming

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-25/electric-car-boom-seen-triggering-peak-oil-demand-in-2030s

    Like

    Reply
    • There’s a lot of momentum right now. Consider the fact that the battery stack for a 215 mile range EV now costs around $7,500 to the manufacturer and it’s pretty clear we’re on the cusp of something big.

      Like

      Reply
  16. Devon Macintosh

     /  April 26, 2017

    I think the problem is still as Gore put it with the title of his movie, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. When scientists were developing nuclear weapons the scientists weren’t ignored. When lasers were developed they weren’t scrapped because people didn’t understand how they work. People want what they want if you know what I mean. So apparently some people don’t want to agree there is a GW problem because it’s inconvenient. Sure, the FF industry has pushed an anti-GW campaign to continue to spew their stuff, but that campaign wouldn’t work if certain people didn’t want to go along with it. They want their giant trucks, their after market mufflers to make lots of noise like monkeys vying for dominance in the forest, they want their cholesterol and fat, they want what they want and don’t want to go from a raised up 4 wheel drive monster to a small EV and that doesn’t have to be literal as symbolically that’s what’s going on. At least that’s what I think. And don’t get me wrong – I don’t drive some big monster truck. But I think that’s part of what’s going on. Unfortunately by the time all hell is breaking loose (which it already is randomly) but on a much bigger and grander unfortunate scale, it will be an uphill battle to even get to a point of slowing down that momentum.

    You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. But give credit where credit is due – Good for scientists and those in favor of science to come out and try to get people’s attention. Maybe it’s a case of the first time it doesn’t get much attention, but subsequent efforts get more attention.

    Like

    Reply
    • I’d lay this less on the people and more on how issue thus far has been communicated by media and advertisers. That failure is starting to shift. And the fact that scientists are speaking out and taking a political stance at this time is a big positive. We do, however, absolutely need to provide honest criticism of large media entities who have failed to responsibly cover this issue. It’s not a case of ‘all media is bad.’ But it is a case of a huge subsection of media needs to do a heck of a lot better.

      Like

      Reply
  17. Ryan in New England

     /  April 26, 2017

    While I was proud of everyone involved in the march for science and pleased that so many people participated, a part of me is really depressed that we even have to do this. I graduated high school in ’99 and I distinctly remember believing that we would transition from fossil fuels in time to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. Now here we are nearly 20 years later and we are in a far worse position than I ever though possible. Not only are we increasing atmospheric CO2 at a record pace, but now the US is controlled by scientifically illiterate deniers of reality. It really feels like we are in a worst case scenario situation.

    Like

    Reply
    • Time for a gut check, everyone. We can give in to despair and surely we will fail. Or we can fight for what we know is just — no matter the apparent odds. Throughout history people have been faced with similar seemingly insurmountable challenges. Some rise to meet them and succeed against all apparent odds. Some rise and are crushed by overwhelming circumstance. But failing to rise always guarantees defeat in the end.

      It’s not quite worst case. The energy transition is moving apace despite a swell of political reactionism on the part of fossil fuel backers. Carbon pollution has plateaued and we have the opportunity to bring it down. Political activism on the part of scientists, environmentalists and concerned citizens is having an impact on media and the business community. People are empowered to cut their carbon emissions more than before.

      It’s very late in the game. And we should have been where we are now 20 years ago at least. But we were always going to face this kind of opposition given the entrenched power of the fossil fuel special interests and the influence of advertising dollars on the media and campaign dollars on government. That said, we are making progress. It’s not moving fast enough yet. But the big ground swell is there.

      Like

      Reply
    • webej

       /  April 27, 2017

      When I was in High School in the seventies we had sit-ins about pollution and acid rain. Later I learned that there had been many voices in the thirties already pointing to the dangers of toxic substances and chemical dumping. It is depressing to learn that we keep thinking something very important has been discovered which impels us to action (which does happen sporadically), only to conclude later that something has been on the agenda a long time but the required actions have simply been tabled: We keep thinking we can delay and still deal with any catastrophe when it hits.

      Like

      Reply
  18. Ryan in New England

     /  April 26, 2017

    We have reached the 410 ppm benchmark, a level not seen in millions of years.

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_last_time_there_was_this_much_carbon_dioxide_in_the_air_florida_was_und

    And it doesn’t look like we’ll be stopping anytime soon.

    Like

    Reply
  19. Ryan in New England

     /  April 26, 2017

    Things are really getting bad, and it’s hard for me to not become depressed when I contemplate the enormity of the losses we are bearing witness to.

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40311-great-barrier-reef-reaches-terminal-stage-as-co2-levels-rise-at-record-rate

    Thanks to ACD, Earth has lost approximately half of all its coral reefs in just the last three decades. A quarter of all marine species depend on reefs. Reefs provide the sole source of protein for more than one billion people, and they are now vanishing before our eyes.

    Scientists are now speculating that an era of terminal global coral bleaching might have already arrived, decades earlier than previously expected. The recent bleaching events are so severe, there is no analog in the thousands of years of ancient coral cores scientists use to study past bleaching events.

    “This isn’t something that’s going to happen 100 years from now. We’re losing them right now,” marine biologist Julia Baum of Canada’s University of Victoria told the AP. “We’re losing them really quickly, much more quickly than I think any of us ever could have imagined.”

    Like

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  April 26, 2017

      This article is extremely troubling, but is only pointing out where we are and where we’re heading.

      A report published in March shows that, according to the UN, the world is facing the widest and deepest humanitarian crisis since the end of WWII, as 20 million people face starvation and famine in Somalia, Nigeria, Yemen and South Sudan, with no end in sight.

      Underscoring this crisis, another report from this spring has provided evidence that the Middle East and North Africa risk becoming uninhabitable within a few decades, due to lack of accessible fresh water, which has already fallen by two-thirds over the last 40 years.

      The 22 countries impacted by this growing water crisis are home to nearly 400 million people, who are also impacted by lack of adequate water for agriculture and food production for their populations that are continuing to grow rapidly.

      Like

      Reply
      • Erik Frederiksen

         /  April 26, 2017

        And these are impacts we are seeing long before feeling the full effects of a rise in temperature of 1 degree C, due to things like the response time of the ice sheets.

        And recently William Nordhaus reported that a target of 2 1/2 degrees C is technically possible, but would require extreme, virtually universal policy measures.

        So we may be seeing what impacts are like at +3C.

        Like

        Reply
      • The situation is bad. It flares and fades, but it is steadily getting worse. As for corals — carbon emissions have to come down very rapidly to save them. Bleaching is the first hit. But ocean acidification follows close behind under present emission rates.

        Like

        Reply
      • Troubling indeed , thanks Erik, a great write up and round up as disturbing as it is .

        Like

        Reply
  20. Ryan in New England

     /  April 26, 2017

    You can watch Seed;The Untold Story free on PBS for the rest of April. I’m pretty sure Bob had mentioned this film a few comment threads ago, but since I found it streaming on PBS I figured I would mention it 🙂

    http://www.pbs.org/video/2365983996/

    Like

    Reply
  21. Bill G.

     /  April 26, 2017

    Thanks again for all your work.
    The most successful march I was involved in was the WTO protest events in 1999. The protests, along with the actions of the countries from the south, help slow down the implementation of neoliberal policies in the agricultural sector (including the movement of transnational corporations into countries like India) – didn’t stop it. I think the protests were unexpected and there was support for this resistance from countries from the south (SE Asia, Africa and SA).
    We had gone over to the University of WA for presentations from the EU, US Chamber of Commerce and a radicalized professor to hear the representative parties give their position on these trade talks and then headed back to Capital Hill (Seattle). The police, in their over-response, managed to tear-gas a major street (Broadway) – tear-gas with pepper spray in it. We happened to be crossing the street when we were hit by a blast of it. This energized all the people in the vicinity and we all started walking towards the police, chanting for them to leave (this is a major city street). The police retreated, and then reappeared from behind were I and my partner were, in big black military vehicles – all the police had outfits on which were for tear-gas (looked like Star Wars extras). We were aghast and were staring at one of these police from a distance, when he shot a tear-gas canister off – it landed at our feet. We got out of there. And other stuff like that. Yet when we looked at the local news, all they reported were some fools who broke a window at Star Bucks.
    It seems to me that the major media’s work is really to support the myths that the society has. I don’t think it is pure corruption. I think that is why Trump got all that coverage – he is just a myth maker. My view is the human beings live by myths, not by facts, unless there is no other way.

    Like

    Reply
  22. John McCormick

     /  April 26, 2017

    Robert, thanks for replying to my suggestion you visit Chris Mooney to discuss how to win the message battle. You replied “I’d be happy to have a sit-down with Chris to discuss the dire situation that we’re in and the needed responses. So thanks for the suggestion.”

    Let me add another suggestion. Ask Michael Mann to join you. Talk about Mooney’s boss and owner of the Post and Amazon. Talk about the richest man in the world paying Chris to report on global warming. Talk about creating a cable program and magazine devoted entirely to global warming; what to know, how to act. Give him a proposal and back it up with political and activist support. This is possible. He has the money and obviously bought into believing the crisis is upon us. Who else has the money and mechanics to shut down the denial press?

    You are “on fire” and we depend upon you for more. And, there is a world audience that needs this information. Your commitment alone should sell these big ideas to Mr. Bezos.

    Like

    Reply
    • Erik Frederiksen

       /  April 26, 2017

      Other scientists are starting to catch up to where Hansen was 36 years ago; back in 1981 a paper by him, that hit the front page of the NY Times, warned of multi-meter sea level rise within a century:

      “The seven atmospheric scientists predict a global warming of ”almost unprecedented magnitude” in the next century. It might even be sufficient to melt and dislodge the ice cover of West Antarctica, they say, eventually leading to a worldwide rise of 15 to 20 feet in the sea level. In that case, they say, it would ”flood 25 percent of Louisiana and Florida, 10 percent of New Jersey and many other lowlands throughout the world” within a century or less.”

      http://www.nytimes.com/1981/08/22/us/study-finds-warming-trend-that-could-raise-sea-levels.html

      Like

      Reply
    • Even the more conservative SLR based studies are seeing gains in predicted rates. I think we’re starting to reach various SLR thresholds now and that the picture will start to change more rapidly as we exceed 1.5 and 2 C warming levels (v 1880s). The range of prediction is still quite remarkable.

      Like

      Reply
    • wili

       /  April 26, 2017

      Here’s the physorg coverage of the study: https://phys.org/news/2017-04-sea-metres.html

      >>Sea levels could rise by more than three metres<<

      "An international team including Sybren Drijfhout, Professor in Physical Oceanography and Climate Physics, looked at what might happen if carbon dioxide emissions continue unabated.

      Using new projections of Antarctic mass loss and a revised statistical method, they concluded that a worst-case scenario of a 2.5 to three-metre sea level rise was possible by 2100.

      Professor Drijfhout said: 'It might be an unlikely scenario, but we can't exclude the possibility of global sea levels rising by more than three metres by the year 2100…'"

      Like

      Reply
    • Erik Frederiksen

       /  April 26, 2017

      The US has 1,400 cities and towns threatened by sea level rise.

      Here’s an article about Alaskan towns and cities threatened by global warming impacts and the lack of help they are getting from the government. From the NY Times several months ago. Note, the cost to move one village of around 600 people will cost an estimated $180 million.

      “The government has identified at least 31 Alaskan towns and cities at imminent risk of destruction . . . At least two villages farther up the western coast, Shishmaref and Kivalina, have voted to relocate when and if they can find a suitable site and the money to do so. A third, Newtok, in the soggy Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta farther south, has taken the first steps toward a move.

      But, after years of meetings that led nowhere and pleas for government financing that remained unmet, Shaktoolik has decided it will “stay and defend,” at least for the time being, the mayor, Eugene Asicksik, said.

      “We are doing things on our own,” he said.”

      If the government won’t appropriate the funds to move a few dozen small cities and towns, what will they do about the 1,400 cities and towns in the US threatened by sea level rise like Houston, New Orleans, Miami, NYC and Boston?

      We’ll all be “doing things on our own.”

      Like

      Reply
    • Thanks for this, TDG. The Gulf and East Coasts are particularly low-lying and, therefore, extremely vulnerable. 1,400 cities and towns constituting tens of million of people in the U.S. alone, at this point, is a humanitarian and economic nightmare waiting to happen. The Arctic coast is worth noting because it has previously been protected — by sea ice — from wave action and erosion. So combined sea level rise and loss of protective sea ice is a considerable issue.

      Like

      Reply
  23. June

     /  April 26, 2017

    Yesterday on the previous thread Cate alerted us to the SWIPA arctic assessment report ( thanks, Cate, it is an important report). Today Bob Henson in the Category 6 blog has a good post on the Arctic and mid-latitude warming.

    What’s the Arctic Doing to Midlatitude Weather, and Vice Versa?

    https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/whats-arctic-doing-midlatitude-weather-and-vice-versa

    Like

    Reply
  24. Spike

     /  April 26, 2017

    Ah climate marches! I was at the Wave in London in 2009, and remember seeing a huge blue column encircling Parliament. As I crossed the Thames on one bridge I could see folk further back on the march going the opposite way on the next bridge downstream. It was a biggie and certainly caught political attention then. I suspect in the next year or so we may end up having to go again as there are rumblings calling for repeal of our Climate Change Act.

    Pictures of the march in 2009 in the Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2009/dec/06/protest-climate-change

    Like

    Reply
  25. Cate

     /  April 26, 2017

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/rapid-climate-change-arctic-21389

    More commentary on that huge SWIPA report from Jason Box, who knows a thing or two about Greenland:

    “Land ice is disappearing, raising seas and altering ocean circulation. The biggest impact for the globe is the melt of land ice from Greenland’s massive ice sheet. It’s the biggest land ice driver of sea level rise, and it’s been melting at a quickening rate since 2011.
    The SWIPA report uses new data and findings to update the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sea level rise estimates made just four years ago.
    “I want to stress those numbers are probably underestimates,” Jason Box, a Greenland ice sheet researcher and one of the report’s authors, said. “They haven’t yet put in all the sensitivities we’re finding in the SWIPA reports. All these other sensitivities are ones we didn’t have in our minds before and they’re adding up and multiplying each other.”

    Like

    Reply
    • Erik Frederiksen

       /  April 26, 2017

      Thanks for that, from an interesting conversation held a few months ago with Michael Mann and Richard Alley. A few comments by Alley below.

      “If we don’t change our ways we’re expecting something like 3 feet of sea level rise in the next century, and it could be 2 and it could be 4 and it could be 20. The chance that we will cross thresholds that commit us to loss of big chunks of West Antarctica and huge sea level rise is real.

      So when you start doing “Well you’re not sure,” but there’s a chance of really bad things and the uncertainties are mostly on the bad side, could be a little better or a little worse or a lot worse, but we’ll be breaking things.”

      At 47:35 here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2yclMcDroQ&t=2891s

      Like

      Reply
  26. Larkana’s temperature touches 50°C

    “Never in the history of the Sindh province, had temperature risen to 50°C in the month of April,” the officials said

    https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/199698-Larkanas-temperature-touches-50C

    Like

    Reply
    • Saw this a couple of days ago. Implications for serious May heat in the India-Pakistan region. This throws up a big atmospheric wall all on its own and could well push the monsoon back for a bit.

      Like

      Reply
  27. Suzanne

     /  April 26, 2017

    Here at the “sister” march for the People’s Climate March…we are taking it to the gates of Mar-a-Lago. Here is a portion from our “email blast” for this Saturday’s Event:
    On April 29th, which marks the 100th day of Trump’s presidency, we will march in solidarity with thousands of people around the country for climate, jobs, justice, peace, and resistance to Trump’s dangerous climate denial policies! Sea level rise is currently and will continue to affect all of South Florida including Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s “Winter White House,” regardless of climate change denial. Participating in this march and signing our banner-size petition will draw attention to this real threat and send a message that both State and Federal lawmakers must acknowledge and address the threat of sea level rise.

    March Themes

    Participants are encouraged to bring posters and signs related to the theme of Mar-a-Lago sinking due to sea level rise to point out Trump’s hypocrisy on Climate Change (picture below can serve as a model for homemade signs to coincide with the march theme). We will have large banners that we want all participants to sign to urge State and Federal lawmakers to acknowledge and address sea level rise. We also encourage participants to wear snorkels, diving goggles, inner tubes and water wear etc., to drive home the theme of sea level rise in a fun manner!

    /Users/Suzanne/Desktop/MaralagoLoC (3).jpg

    Wish us luck!!

    Like

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  April 26, 2017

      Darn it..I was hoping to add the picture of the banner we are carrying..signing and then having delivered. One day…before I die..maybe I can finally get proficient with this new fangled thing called computers and social media. 🙂

      Like

      Reply
    • Do you have a link to the image, Suzanne? I’ll post it for you if need be. Thank you, as ever, for your responsible activism!

      Like

      Reply
      • Suzanne

         /  April 26, 2017

        Let see if this is what you need../Users/Suzanne/Desktop/image.png

        Like

        Reply
        • Suzanne

           /  April 26, 2017

          Okay..I am just clueless. I thought if I dragged the damn photo over it would work. Oh well. I can do some things fairly well..but not this apparently..

          Like

        • Yep. It’s not so easy as drop and dragging from a desktop to a comment. You’ve got to upload it to a website and then link it.

          Like

        • You need to upload it to a web address. Facebook or Twitter or Pintrest or the like will work.

          Like

  28. climatehawk1

     /  April 26, 2017

    Excellent read from Post Carbon Institute on “juggling live hand grenades” and societal collapse: http://www.postcarbon.org/juggling-live-hand-grenades/

    Like

    Reply
  29. Suzanne

     /  April 26, 2017

    Like

    Reply
  30. Gene

     /  April 26, 2017

    Democracy Now! covered the marches live for several hours `plus a repeat of highlights Monday. Support them! I am in Ecuador right now and have seen torrential rains. Climate change is in the news here everyday:

    Like

    Reply
  31. This seems scary and will be more common in the coming years , Russian facilities in Siberia under threat : http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/nuclear-town-on-fire-with-residents-choking-from-smoke/. Facilities for producing weapons grade plutonium believed safe despite fierce flames caused by wildfires.Nuclear town on fire. Picture: Accidents Zheleznogorsk
    The shoking pictures in Zheleznogorsk – a high-security closed nuclear town in Krasnoyarsk region – shows fires close to residential areas.
    Citizens of the Siberian town, established in 1950 for the production of weapons-grade plutonium, took to social media to say they were choking from wildfire smoke.Streets were covered with thick haze after woodland caught fire.The strong smell of smoke was felt inside flats and houses.
    The fact we created whole towns to build weapons grade plutonium is bad enough .

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: