Happy Thanksgiving - Unavoidable Climate Change: We've Passed the Point of No Return

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 11/27/2010 - 17:51.
Climate Change News Digest
Just in case you are still feeling "Thankful" this Thanksgiving weekend, now that the turkey buzz has worn off... some reality for you and those friends and loved ones you thanked the heavens for, and stuffed yourself with... evidence grows that recent global warming is unprecedented in magnitude and speed ... and a few other climate change links from Thanksgiving week. Can't wait to see what Christmas has in store...
  Essential News  
  Wegman exposed: Experts find "shocking" plagiarism in 2006 climate report requested by Joe Barton (R-TX) - Meanwhile, evidence grows that recent global warming is unprecedented in magnitude and speed
An influential 2006 congressional report that raised questions about the validity of global warming research was partly based on material copied from textbooks, Wikipedia and the writings of one of the scientists criticized in the report, plagiarism experts say. Review of the 91-page report by three experts contacted by USA TODAY found repeated instances of passages lifted word for word and what appear to be thinly disguised paraphrases. The evidence has become overwhelming that recent global warming is unprecedented in magnitude and speed and cause (see "Two more independent studies back the Hockey Stick and below).
23rd November 2010
  Republicans Learn the Perils of Being Politically Incorrect on Climate Change
Defeat came for Republican Rep. Bob Inglis because he slid to
23rd November 2010
  Thank You for Global Warming
The executives of Duke Energy are used to protesters showing up at shareholder meetings. As one of the nation's biggest greenhouse-gas emitters, the company has long been a target for enviros who demand that it stop blowing up mountains to get coal, burning the stuff, and warming the planet in the process. But the execs were befuddled last May when a man named Tom Borelli stood up at their annual shindig to demand precisely the opposite. The company, Borelli insisted, should make a detailed accounting of the resources it has wasted lobbying for climate-change regulations-Duke CEO Jim Rogers had spent too much time trying to strike "a deal with the government devil" and "chasing legislative windmills," he said.
23rd November 2010
  Climate curbs fall short, says UN
Promises countries have made to control carbon emissions will see temperatures rise by up to 4C during this century, a UN report concludes
23rd November 2010
  CO2 drop 'smaller than expected'
Carbon emissions fell in 2009 due to the recession - but not by as much as predicted, suggesting the fast upward trend will soon be resumed.
23rd November 2010
  Climate Science Rapid Response Team debunks Bjorn Lomborg's Washington Post op-ed - UCS takes on Lomborg's failed movie, Cool it
According to Box Office Mojo, in its premiere weekend, Bjorn Lomborg's effort at disinfotainment, Cool It, scored a whopping $26,487 in ticket sales. In its 41 theaters, that's a "$655 average." In its second weekend, the movie expanded to 43 theaters, but its ticket sales fell to $10,734, about $250 per theater, a 60% drop. I'm sure the Danish statistician would appreciate Box Office Mojo quantitative detail, but you don't need to know much statistics to realize that not bloody many people are actually watching this movie. In fact, the movie is just a clever loss leader for Lomborg's bad ideas.
23rd November 2010
  Dire straits: Media blows the story of UC Berkeley study on climate messaging - Brulle: "This isn't a reliable analysis of science-based education. The conclusions drawn from a tiny study don't suppor
"Gloom and doom on climate can backfire, new study says" blares the Washington Post. "An Inconvenient Mind" snarks DotEarth. And, of course, the discredited denier Anthony Watts of gleefully chimes in at WattsUpWithThat, "Finally, recognition that doom and gloom, hell and high water, and all that... really aren't effective." Ahh, if only people would actually read the entire study, including the crucial supplementary material, before explaining its supposedly deeper meaning, one that just happens to fit their preconceived notions. As we will see, this study, if it proves anything, finds that the strongest possible science-based messaging is effective.
23rd November 2010
  Unavoidable Climate Change: We've Passed the Point of No Return
How bad it gets depends on how much longer we fail to act and how much longer Congress and others hide behind ignorance, political ideology and religion to deny reality.
23rd November 2010
  How the Tea Party Thinks Sustainable Development Is an International Conspiracy to Take Away Our Personal Freedoms
Conservative activists believe that the UN is secretly plotting to herd humans into crowded cities so that the rest of the world can be devoted to wildlife preservation.
23rd November 2010
  Climate change scepticism is about more than just science | Adam Corner
Debate on climate change is dominated by disputes about personal values, regulation and government intervention in our lives.
23rd November 2010
  Indonesia eyeing climate aid to cut down forests
Indonesia plans to class large areas of its remaining natural forests as "degraded" land in order to cut them down and receive nearly $1bn of climate aid for replanting them with palm trees and biofuel crops, according to Greenpeace International. According to internal government documents from the forestry, agriculture and energy departments in Jakarta, the areas of land earmarked for industrial plantation expansion in the next 20 years include 37m ha of existing natural forest – 50% of the country's orangutan habitat and 80% of its carbon-rich peatland. More than 60m ha – an area nearly five times the size of England – could be converted to palm oil and biofuel production in the next 20 years, say the papers.
23rd November 2010
  Study could mean greater anticipated global warming
Global climate models disagree widely in the magnitude of the warming we can expect with increasing carbon dioxide. This is mainly because the models represent clouds differently. A new modeling approach successfully simulates the observed cloud fields in a key region for climate. The study finds a greater tendency for clouds to thin with global warming than in any of the current climate models. This means the expected warming may be greater than currently anticipated.
23rd November 2010
  Greenhouse-Gas Pledges by Nations Insufficient, UN Report Finds - Bloomberg
National pledges to cut greenhouse gases by 2020 fall short of reductions needed to limit the rise in global temperatures, according to a report released by the United Nations Environment Program.
23rd November 2010
  Next climate warming report will be dramatically worse: UN - AFP
UNITED NATIONS — United Nations leaders will demand "concrete results" from the looming Cancun climate summit as global warming is accelerating, a top UN organizer of the event said Monday. Robert Orr, UN under secretary general for planning, said the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on global warming will be much worse than the last one. Representatives from 194 countries are to meet in the Mexican resort city of Cancun from November 29 to December 10 for a new attempt to strike a deal to curb greenhouse gases after 2012. Orr told reporters that negotiators heading for the Cancun conference "need to remind themselves, the longer we delay, the more we will pay both in terms of lives and in terms of money." He said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon would make it clear to world leaders in Cancun "that we should not take any comfort in the climate deniers' siren call." "The evidence shows us quite the opposite-- that we can't rest easy at all" as scientists agree that climate change "is happening in an accelerated way." "As preparations are underway for the next IPCC report, just about everything that you will see in the next report will be more dramatic than the last report, because that is where all the data is pointing." The fourth IPCC assessment released in 2007 said that global warming is "unequivocal" and mainly caused by human activity. Its next report, involving contributions from thousands of scientists around the world, is due in 2014.
23rd November 2010
  CO2 emissions gap could be 5-9 bln T in 2020 -UNEP
Source: Reuters * Weak pledges could lead to 53 bln tonnes of CO2 in 2020 * 44 bln tonnes of CO2 could limit warming to 2 degrees C LONDON, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Carbon dioxide emissions in 2020 could be 5 ...
23rd November 2010
  Greenhouse gases hit record highs
The world's greenhouse gas emissions have surged back to record levels, a year after recording a slight dip during the global financial crisis, a report from the CSIRO has shown.
23rd November 2010
  Government accused of lobbying against action on climate change
The Harper government is on the defensive over its climate-change policy amid charges it is conspiring with the oil industry and Alberta to lobby for weaker emissions rules in the United States and Europe. Environment Minister John Baird, who is preparing for an international climate meeting in Cancun, Mexico, next week, brushed aside a report released by environmental groups on Monday that suggested the government has launched a co-ordinated campaign with Alberta and the oil industry to persuade governments to weaken U.S. and European greenhouse-gas emission regulations that would hurt oil sands producers.
23rd November 2010
  Climate Change Math in Treaties Flawed by Suspect Pollution Calculations
As the world turns to climate treaties and emissions- trading markets to tame global warming, scientists and regulators are clashing over a key question: How do we measure the pollution we’re trying to reduce? Companies use bottom-up calculations and report their emissions estimates based on inputs: how much coal a plant burns; how much oil a factory consumes; how much lime is added to cement. Countries tabulate these estimates and add nationwide figures: how many vehicles drive within their borders; how much waste people plough into landfills; even how many methane-belching sheep graze in pastures. Nisbet, Weiss and dozens of researchers say this bottom-up approach doesn’t reveal what we really need to know -- what’s happening in the air. They’re sounding an alarm that greenhouse gases measured in the atmosphere can be double what companies and nations estimate on the ground. In the case of one heat-trapping gas called sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), countries report that output has plummeted since 1995 based on their counts of military radar systems, electrical equipment and factories that use it to soundproof windows, all of which can release the gas. Scientists say measuring the air shows levels have surged since at least 2000.
23rd November 2010
  Doomsday messages about global warming can backfire, new study shows
Dire or emotionally charged warnings about the consequences of global warming can backfire if presented too negatively, making people less amenable to reducing their carbon footprint, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley.
19th November 2010
  Should we be planning for the end of cheap coal?
The recent IEA report on global energy use trends contained a bit of a surprise. If oil prices remain high and governments make progress on their emissions goals, there's a possibility that the world has already hit peak oil, and that the next few years will see its use plateau for a while before dropping again. Using these same assumptions, the report also said that we could hit peak coal somewhere within the next 20 years. In today's edition of Nature, a commentary suggests that, even skipping those same assumptions, we may hit peak coal before too long, simply because the best and cheapest sources are vanishing fast.