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David Attenborough Calls on Voters in US and Australia to Respond to Climate Science Denial Among Leaders

David Attenborough Calls on Voters in US and Australia to Respond to Climate Science Denial Among Leaders

Veteran broadcaster David Attenborough has expressed his disappointment at the rise of climate science denial in the US and Australia and called on voters to respond.

Referencing the rise of climate science denial in some countries while giving evidence to a committee of MPs in the UK, Attenborough said he was “sorry that there are people in power and internationally, notably the United States, but also in Australia” where “those voices are clearly heard”. He said he hoped the “electorate will actually respond” to public figures that promote climate science denial.

Attenborough also said it would be “a very sad day” if President Donald Trump succeeded in withdrawing the US from the Paris Agreement, praising the UN process as an example of international cooperation.

He accused climate science deniers of cherry-picking their data, arguing it “isn’t proof” to find a particular example of where glaciers had grown, rather than shrunk. “It’s just an example,” he said.

“The proof is in the graphs, the proof is in the scientific records, the proof is in when you analyse bubbles from the sea ice and glacier ice to show you what has happened to the climate over the years,” he added.

However, Attenborough also said those that disagree with mainstream climate science should not be totally silenced.

“It is very, very, important that the voices of dissent should have a place where they’re heard and a place where the arguments between the two sides can be worked out in public and deterred and analysed in public. That’s very important,” he said.

“I think that the voice of criticism and the voice of disbelief should not be stamped on”.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Climate Change was No Accident

Climate Change was No Accident

Years ago, tobacco companies discovered the link between their products and lung cancer. Did they warn their customers? No — they denied the link entirely, misleading the public for decades while killing their customers.

Similarly, ExxonMobil scientists made startlingly accurate predictionsabout climate change as early as 1982 — and then spent millions of dollars on a misinformation campaign to sow public doubt about climate change.

They didn’t need to convince the public that the climate crisis wasn’t happening. They just had to muddy the waters enough to prevent us from doing anything.

They provoked uncertainty: Maybe the climate crisis isn’t happening. And even if it is, maybe it’s not caused by humans burning fossil fuels. (Of course, it is happening and it is caused by humans.)

The result was inaction.

If we aren’t even sure that a human-caused climate crisis is afoot, why should we wean ourselves off of fossil fuels? It would be highly inconvenient and very expensive to go to all of that trouble unless we’re absolutely certain that we need to.

After all, the argument went, “only” 97 percent of scientists believe that human are causing a climate crisis.

I’m a scientist. Let me tell you, when 97 percent of scientists agree on anything, the evidence must be overwhelming.

Scientists are trained to critique and argue with one another. We make our careers by pulling apart other scientists’ theories and exposing the flaws in them and then supplanting them with better theories of our own.

You couldn’t get 97 percent of scientists to agree that puppies are cute or chocolate is delicious.

What about other 3 percent? You can always find one or two nutty so-called scientists with inaccurate, fringy theories out there. There’s probably a scientist somewhere attempting to publish a study asserting that Bigfoot exists — or that climate change isn’t happening.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Adult Lifestyles Sentence Kids to 1,000 Years of “Deadly” Heat Waves

Adult Lifestyles Sentence Kids to 1,000 Years of “Deadly” Heat Waves

Photograph Source: Intothewoods7 – CC BY-SA 4.0

Sixteen year old Greta Thunberg’s School Strike for Climate generation seems likely to witness the beginnings of a grueling, traumatizing, brutal, heat-driven reversal of the human population boom. Why? Because we’ve continued to pack the atmosphere with a little more CO2 with almost every move we make in utterly normal daily routines, thus forcing heat higher and higher day after day after day.

And we’ve collectively waited too long before taking the situation seriously. Now it’s irreversible. A study led by Susan Solomon found that the CO2 we add to the atmosphere every day remains there for centuries, “so that atmospheric temperatures do not drop significantly for at least 1,000 years.” 

Kids thus face an array of heat-driven risks for the next 1,000 years, and the risks are certain to escalate with every next new day of using the atmosphere as a carbon dump. 

But the risks can be reduced. Will that be too much to ask?

As of 2016, even before we collectively forced the heat 1C higher than pre-industrial times, EPA had already reported that, “Children are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illness and death, as their bodies are less able to adapt to heat than adults, and they must rely on others to help keep them safe.”

Writing for The Age, one of Australia’s leading newspapers, journalist Caitlin Fitzsimmons tells her readers, “Let’s not pretend that children and teenagers can’t understand what’s going on.”  She reports that 86 per cent of Australia’s surveyed teens view climate change as a threat to their safety, “with 73 per cent saying it affects the world ‘a lot’ now and 84 per cent saying it will affect the world ‘a lot’ in the future.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

‘They Have Lied for Decades’: European Parliament To Scrutinise Exxon’s Climate Science Denial

‘They Have Lied for Decades’: European Parliament To Scrutinise Exxon’s Climate Science Denial

#ExxonKnew light sign over a highway

With millions of students taking to the streets and oil majors increasingly facing litigation, the fossil fuel industry is finally being held to account for its contribution to the climate crisis.

This week, the EU is taking this accountability up a notch, with ExxonMobil’s decades-long denial of climate science facing the scrutiny of MEPs and the public at a hearing at the European Parliament in Brussels on Thursday.

During the two-hour session, scientists, campaigners and a historian will examine the history of climate denial and in particular the misinformation spread by Exxon, with MEPs able to ask questions about the role and behaviour of the oil major.

The hearing is being held jointly by the petitions committee and the environment, public health and food safety committee. It was arranged following a petition by Food & Water Europe, a Brussels-based non-governmental organisation, which gained 732 signatures.

“To my knowledge, this is the first major body of lawmakers, certainly at the national or international level, to hear on record expert testimony about the history of climate denial today,” says Geoffrey Supran, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard who has examined Exxon’s history of obfuscation on climate change, and who will testify at Thursday’s hearing. “There’s a general momentum here, that investigative bodies are starting to formalise this enquiry.”

Representatives from the oil company itself won’t attend the hearing, due to “ongoing climate change related litigation in the US”, according to leaked notes from the coordinators of the hearing. Exxon did not respond to requests for comment at the time of publication.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

In Deathbed Video, ‘Godfather’ Of Climate Science Begs World Leaders To Deploy Last-Ditch Solar Shield

In Deathbed Video, ‘Godfather’ Of Climate Science Begs World Leaders To Deploy Last-Ditch Solar Shield

Before passing away from heart disease on February 18, climate scientist Wallace Smith Broecker left behind a “final warning” to fellow scientists – telling them in a video recorded days before his death that humanity must deploy a volcano-inspired “solar shield” in order to cool down the atmosphere, according to NBC News

Broecker, who popularized the phrase “global warming” in 1975 (right as the notion of “global cooling” became unpopular) – warned that world leaders aren’t acting quickly enough to halt the production of carbon dioxide, and the only solution is to geoengineer “the sulfur solution.” 

The theory is that the planet might be cooled, in a worst-case scenario, by releasing massive amounts of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere some 70,000 feet above the Earth’s surface. The idea would be for jets to release so much SO2 that they would mimic a massive volcanic eruption, like the one at Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991, which shrouded much of the planet in a sulfurous cloud, cooling the Earth by about 1 degree Fahrenheit for a full year. –NBC News

“If we are going to prevent the planet from warming up another couple of degrees, we are going to have to go to geoengineering,” said Broecker, adding that continued inaction could result in “many more surprises in the greenhouse,” known as Earth. Wallace Broecker receiving the National Medal of Science from President Bill Clinton in 1996. Photo: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Broecker said that he had worked with another prominent climatologist on mechanical units that could remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but that at least 100 million of them would be required to get the job done. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Not Even a Blip: The Great Flop of Climategate #3

Not Even a Blip: The Great Flop of Climategate #3

The results of a “Google Trends” examination of the number of searchers for the term “Climategate.” The large peak in 2009 was generated by the wave of interest created by the release of the first batch of e-mails exchanged among climate scientists. A few weeks ago, a new batch of mails was released, but it generated no interest: not even a blip in the curve.

You remember the “Climategate” story, don’t you? It was in November 2009 when a batch of private e-mail messages exchanged by climate scientists was stolen and diffused over the Web. The bruhaha that resulted was unbelievable and the messages were described as the “proof” that Climate Science was an elaborate hoax, a conspiracy created by scientists in order to gain money, prestige and influence.

The peak you see at the beginning of this post is a plot from “Google Trends,” it shows how the Climategate term literally exploded in the memesphere. Today, after nearly 10 years, we could legitimately scratch our heads at thinking what there was so interesting in this story that deserved so much time and so much discussion. Really, there was nothing interesting in those emails— on the whole, they were as boring as mail messages among scientists could be (*).

So much overhyped was the Climategate ‘scandal’ that the later attempts to resuscitate it were hit by the memetic curse of irrelevance. A new batch of e-mails exchanged among climate scientists was released in 2011, it was termed “Climategate #2” and it is barely visible as a blip in the Google Trends curve (see above). Then, a third batch was released just a few weeks ago, this time by the force of an FOIA directed at the University of Arizona.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Climate Scientist: World’s Richest Must Radically Change Lifestyles to Prevent Global Catastrophe

Climate Scientist: World’s Richest Must Radically Change Lifestyles to Prevent Global Catastrophe

The 24th United Nations climate summit comes amid growing warnings about the catastrophic danger climate change poses to the world. In October, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that humanity has only a dozen years to mitigate climate change or face global catastrophe—with severe droughts, floods, sea level rise and extreme heat set to cause mass displacement and poverty. But on Saturday, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait blocked language “welcoming” the landmark IPCCclimate report. New studies show global carbon emissions may have risen as much 3.7 percent in 2018, marking the second annual increase in a row. A recent report likened the rising emissions to a “speeding freight train.” We speak with Kevin Anderson, professor in climate change leadership at Uppsala University’s Centre for Environment and Development Studies, and 15-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg about the drastic action needed to fight climate change and the impact of President Trump on climate change activism.

Transcript
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Yes, this is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. We’re broadcasting from the U.N. climate summit right here in Katowice, Poland. And we’re continuing our conversation with Greta, who has been on a school strike calling for climate action. She sits outside the Swedish parliament every Friday. In September, before the election, she sat for three weeks straight on weekdays. A number of kids also then started to join her.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

COP24: Climate Science Denial, Disinformation and Fake News at the UN Climate Talks

COP24: Climate Science Denial, Disinformation and Fake News at the UN Climate Talks

James Taylor of the Heartland Institute at COP24

And in Katowice, Poland, where the UN climate talks — known as COP24 — are underway, it was no different. A small group of climate science deniers tried to grab attention by hosting an event on the fringe of the conference, claiming to “present the science that debunks UN alarmism”.

But this year, very few were paying attention.

Year after year, climate science deniers have attempted to use the climate talks as a platform to undermine the global climate negotiation process.

The election of Donald Trump in the US and Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, two populist politicians who denounced climate change as a political plot to stifle economic growth and want to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, may have given these fringe groups some semblance of credibility.

Jesse Bragg, spokesman for the NGO Corporate Accountability, told DeSmog UK that although climate science deniers’ tactics haven’t changed over the years, “what has changed is the hubris with which these deniers trot their junk science out but just because Trump makes these deniers feel confident”.

But that doesn’t mean they actually have cause or that support for them is growing,” he added.

Inside the UN conference, climate science denial voices have traditionally been ignored. Both Trump and Bolsonaro’s election were a blow to the UN’s climate negotiations process but those denying the scientific consensus of climate change have not — at least yet — managed to crush the momentum behind the Paris Agreement.

Isolated Deniers

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Climate Scientist Michael Mann Releases Emails Ahead of University of Arizona Response to E&E Legal

Climate Scientist Michael Mann Releases Emails Ahead of University of Arizona Response to E&E Legal

Michael Mann

Nearly a decade ago, in late 2009, a server at the University of East Anglia was hacked and thousands of emails from the university’s Climatic Research Unit were subsequently released in the run-up to the Copenhagen climate talks. Within these thousands of emails, climate change deniers attempted to cherry-pick a few sentences to falsely suggest scientific malfeasance. This so-called “Climategate” incident managed to briefly cast doubt on the public’s acceptance of the scientific realities of climate change. But ultimately, numerous investigations found there was no wrongdoing, and the media storm was found to only have a fleeting public impact.

I have discussed the manufactured scandal in the context of the larger industry-funded, bad faith attack on climate science in my book The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars.

In increasingly desperate attempts to recreate this short-lived machination, there have since been repeated efforts to obtain my and other climate scientists’ emails via fishing expeditions through misuse of the legal system. Led by David Schnare, one coal-funded group masquerading as a think tank — which currently goes by the name of Energy & Environment Legal Institute(E&E Legal) — brought a lawsuit in Virginia seeking to obtain virtually every email I had ever sent or received during the six years I was a professor at the University of Virginia.

The case was struck down by the Virginia Supreme Court, but E&E Legal has continued to essentially relitigate the matter in friendlier forums. E&E Legal targeted two other prominent climate scientists at the University of Arizona, Jonathan Overpeck and Malcolm Hughes (the latter being one of my longtime co-authors), seeking a total of 13 years of emails from them, including correspondence with or about me or my research.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty

Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty

Photo Source BLMIdaho | CC BY 2.0

The following is an excerpt from Jeffrey St. Clair & Joshua Frank’s new book, The Big Heat: Earth on the Brink.

As my wife Chelsea and I drove through Arizona on our annual pilgrimage from California to Montana, orange smoke billowed along the darkened horizon, signals of hearts shattered and landscapes scorched. Days earlier nineteen hotshot firefighters died together as they battled the intense blazes near the mountain town of Yarnell. It was the most lethal wildfire America had witnessed in 80 years.

The Yarnell flames were so erratic and intense the team became suddenly trapped, and despite each of the men deploying their individual fire shelters, all fighting the flames that day perished.

The lone survivor was out fetching a truck for his crew, only to return to the gruesome scene. It was the single deadliest incident for firefighters since the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

Fires like the one that charred the small Yarnell community are only growing in size and ferocity in the West. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, the number of wildfires every year in the U.S. has remained relatively steady, but their size has increased dramatically. In 1987, a little over 2.4 million acres burned across the country whereas 2012 saw over 9.3 million acres go up in flames.

That’s more than the size of Rhode Island and Maryland combined and it’s a trend many see as only increasing as more droughts plague Western states and climate change continues to rear its ugly head.

“Today, western forests are experiencing longer wildfire seasons and more acres burned compared to several decades ago,” says Todd Sanford, a climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). “The greatest increase has occurred in mid-elevation Northern Rockies forests, which are having higher spring and summer temperatures and earlier snowmelt. These conditions are linked to climate change.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Rebellious Scientists Issue Urgent Appeal

Rebellious Scientists Issue Urgent Appeal

Photo Source NASA ICE | CC BY 2.0

On October 31st a select group of UK scientists launched a Declaration of Rebellion against the UK government at the Houses of Parliament: “For criminal inaction in the face of climate change catastrophe and ecological collapse.”

According to the scientists, now is the time to act as a planetary emergency is already upon us.

Nearly 100 British scientists, academics, and writers are willing to go to jail to make their point that anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change is a surefire provocateur that’s already starting to decimate ecosystems.

“This is almost a cry of desperation,” says Andrew Simms of the New Weather Institute (Source: Alex Kirby, UK Scientists Risk Prison to Urge Action, Climate News Network, Oct. 31, 2018).

Additionally, effective October 31, ExtinctionRebellion launched an international movement that will use mass civil disobedience to force governments to immediately establish a WWII-type effort to fight climate change.

Yes, civil disobedience is the way forward, as the group promises: “Repeated acts of disruptive, non-violent civil disobedience” if the government does not respond seriously to demands, and they anticipate “there will be mass arrests.”

Similar in tone to early American rebels like ‘Give me Liberty or Give me Death” Patrick Henry of American Revolution circa late 18th century, these rebel scientists are willing to make personal sacrifices, to be arrested, to go to prison, as they firmly believe its proper to start a planetary emergency global effort in the UK where the industrial revolution commenced. Essentially, full circle back to the beginnings of the fossil fuel era.

According to ExtinctionRebellion the sixth mass extinction is already strutting its mettle in spunky fashion, for example, a recent Worldwide Fund for Nature report claims a wipeout of 60% of animal populations has already occurred over the past 50 years alone.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Difference Between Climate Change Caused By Humans and Those of Milankovitch Cycles

The Difference Between Climate Change Caused By Humans and Those of Milankovitch Cycles

As I knew would happen, my review of the very serious and heavily documented book, Unprecedented Crime (https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/10/26/global-warming-is-real-the-threat-is-real-ecocide-is-on-the-horizon/ ) resulted in condemnations from the fossil fuel industry’s trolls and from libertarians who think that global warming is a scheme for government to seize more power over private industry. Personally, I wish the fossil fuel trolls and libertarians were correct, but there is scant, if any, evidence on their side. I must say that I am discouraged that the oligarchs’ disinformation campaigns are again taking precedence over fact.

Global warming deniers, which includes honest, non-ideological people, say that the planet has been subjected to many warming and cooling periods, and that it is only natural that the cycles are contining. Climate scientists know this very well, and that is what disturbs them. The fact that the planet has warmed and cooled before does not mean that there is no danger.

Searching around for a simple explanation for readers, I found this report ( https://www.cnn.com/2015/11/06/world/two-degrees-question-ice-ages/index.html ) from a CNN meteorologist in 2015. (Note that the 0.85 centigrade rise in temperature in the report is, only 3 years later, up to 1.1C.)

The real question is: why are man-made greenhouse emissions since about 1880, the onset of the industrial era, more dangerous than those of the Milankovitch Cycles? The answer is: the speed of change.

Here is the gist of the CNN report:

Scientists understand the natural processes behind the previous warm and cold periods that lead to ice ages. They occur in regular patterns called Milankovitch cycles. These cycles occur because the Earth’s orbit around the sun is not constant.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

UN Climate Change Report: A Choice between “Mad Max and Hunger Games”

UN Climate Change Report: A Choice between “Mad Max and Hunger Games”

Humanity, we’re essentially told, is doomed lest people concede their freedom to the experts, lawmakers, and bureaucrats who can save us.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) this week released a special report detailing all the ways climate change is predicted to wreak havoc on humans.

The report is about 800 pages long, so I’ll offer a summary to save you some time:

  • Global temperatures today are 1.0°C above pre-industrial temperatures.
  • We’re seeing an increase in extreme weather and other negative consequences as a result of the increase, including receding sea ice in the Arctic and rising global sea levels.
  • A 1.5°C increase will be (much) worse than a 1.0 increase; 2°C would be much worse than that.
  • We’re currently on track to exceed 3°C.
  • Only broad and drastic changes in the world economy can prevent global calamity.

The report’s glum findings were announced at a press conference by a United Nations panel in Incheon, South Korea. Panelists tried to sound optimistic, but there was no sugar-coating the report’s key finding.

“If you would like to stabilize global warming to 1.5°C, the key message is that net CO2 emissions at the global scale must reach zero by 2050,” said panelist Valerie Masson-Delmotte, a French climate scientist and research director at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission. “That’s the most important finding of the report.”

Barring these substantial reductions, we’re told, millions will die. Literally.

The report made it clear that fossils fuel—oil, gas, and coal—which the world heavily depends on, must be phased out to achieve this goal: especially coal.

“Coal will have to be reduced very, very substantially by the middle of the century,” said Jim Skea, a Scottish academic and IPCC panelist. “Coal has the highest carbon content of all the fossil fuels.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The New IPCC Report Offers Climate Solutions That Depend on Magic

THE NEW IPCC REPORT OFFERS CLIMATE SOLUTIONS THAT DEPEND ON MAGIC

To solve the crisis, we’d have to slow growth. And no one wants to admit that.
Ice floes in Iceland

(Photo: Roxanne Desgagnés/Unsplash)

Over the past couple of decades, climate scientists have warned government leaders that global warming could pose an extinction-level threat to humanity. In response, policymakers have asked climate scientists for recommendations to stave off catastrophic global warming, just as long as these recommended policies wouldn’t curtail economic growth. Climate scientists, in turn, have come up with a series of proposals that are the equivalent of magic: They deliver desired results, but only if you believe in miracles. For the most part, everyone involved in this magic show has the right intentions. The problem is that we’re betting our entire future on fairy dust.

A case in point is the just-released Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, drafted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change at the request of the United Nations. The purpose of the report is to explore the differences between a 2 degrees Celsius maximum target for global warming and a 1.5 degree target, and to identify ways to achieve that lower target. The reason for working to limit warming below the more ambitious threshold is that a number of low-lying nations (on whose approval the Paris Agreement depended) will literally be underwater if temperatures rise beyond that limit. As solutions, the report discusses ways to capture and sequester carbon dioxide, or ways of pulling CO2 out of the air. The report also suggests that we can continue to grow gross domestic product (GDP) while decreasing energy use.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

‘Vast Blind Spot’: IPCC Accused of Ignoring ‘Decades Long’ Fossil Fuel Misinformation Campaign on Climate

‘Vast Blind Spot’: IPCC Accused of Ignoring ‘Decades Long’ Fossil Fuel Misinformation Campaign on Climate

Charles Koch

The United Nations (UN) climate science panel is being accused of ignoring research into fossil fuel-funded misinformation campaigns that have been key to holding back action on global warming.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — an assessment of more than 6,000 research papers — found global warming caused largely by fossil fuel burning would have severe impacts even if limited to 1.5°C (2.7°F).

Described by the IPCC as “one of the most important climate change reports ever published,” the report is designed to inform policy makers and the public around the world.

But several researchers are angry the report did not take account of academic research into the “decades-long misinformation campaign” funded and promoted by fossil fuel interests and so-called “free market” conservative think tanks that has been a major brake on progress.

Several researchers say the lack of consideration of academic research into misinformation campaigns was a vital but missed opportunity to educate the public and policy makers. The groups that have colluded with the fossil fuel industry have been credited with pushing President Donald Trump to pledge to pull the U.S. from the UN‘s Paris Agreement.

A Vast Blind Spot

This is an important barrier to climate action, but it is never addressed,” said Professor Robert Brulle of Drexel University, who has published research on the funding and influence of climate science denial efforts.

A large existing literature on this was ignored by the IPCC,” he added.

The IPCC special report showed that keeping global warming to 1.5°C would require a rapid phase-out of fossil fuel use between now and the middle of the century.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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