Freelance science journalist and communications consultant

The lukewarmer fallacy

From the Idiot Tracker comes this pearl of wisdom: One of my least favorite lukewarmer fallacies is the concept of “no regrets” policies — that we should push ahead with policies that can be sold to the right wing as energy independence or job creation or whatever appeals to those in denial of the science.…

Republicans with cooler heads

Barring a miraculous revival of the fortunes of Jon Huntsman, Republicans this year will, for the first time, elect a presidential nominee who does not believe that humans are responsible for global warming. How did things get this bad? The Climate Desk team found a few of the last Republicans among the party’s leadership who…

Andy Revkin thinks so. In a recent Dot Earth post, he writes that the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change should either stop straying from a “just the facts” communications strategy or step down. The offense, in Revkin’s mind, is Pachauri’s participation in a not-all-that-funny attempt at a joke begun by Richard Branson…

Are the winds shifting?

Maybe it’s just me, desperately searching for optimistic signals in the noise that dominates the mainstream coverage of climate change, but could there be something happening out there, something attesting to a new, more mature interpretation of the challenge facing society at large? Item 1: The Economist publishes an impassioned lament. This from a magazine…

The thing about the “Durban Platform for Enhanced Action,” is that it simultaneously manages to both exceed expectations and demolish any remaining hope for real action. In effect, it tells us everything we need to know about geopolitics of climate change.

Two degrees of separation

Compare and contrast: The team’s new examination of the paleo-climate record now shows that “a global warming of a couple degrees Celsius would basically create a different planet,” Hansen warned. It’s different than the one that humanity, that civilization knows about. If we look at the paleo record, the target of two degrees Celsius is…

Worst argument ever

This sort of thing is what gives economics a bad name. As soon as have settled down and have some time I will post a more reasoned response. UPDATE: I can’t find the time to rebut so many ignorant statement. Brad Johnson has done some of the heavy lifting. But really, if this doesn’t make…

I would be remiss if I didn’t direct your attention to a new paper in Science that concludes, however tentatively, that the global climate may not be as sensitive to rising atmosheric CO2 levels as everyone has assumed. It is, after all, a rare dose of optimism in a field that has been characterized by…

Canada and the Kyoto Protocol

Word is Canada will give the world a lump of coal tar for Christmas: Canada will announce next month that it will formally withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol, CTV News has learned. The Harper government has tentatively planned an announcement for a few days before Christmas, CTV’s Roger Smith reported Sunday evening. Given the Canada…

If this is the best they’ve got, it’s kind of sad, really. Looks like the link to the zip file of what was left over from the 2009 release has been removed, just a few hours after the world became aware that the FOIA gang is at it again. But most of what found its…