A Few Things Ill Considered

This weekly posting is brought to you courtesy of H. E. Taylor. Happy reading, I hope you enjoy this week’s Global Warming news roundup


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Information Overload is Pattern Recognition

February 23, 2014


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It’s always nice to start with a chuckle:

After humour comes mockery:

  • 2014/02/21: Wonkette: What If The Koch Family Were (A Lot) More Like The Manson Family?
  • 2014/02/21: Wonkette: Charles Krauthammer Has Found The Real Killers Of Science: People Who Believe In Climate Change [media]

    Here is a striking image for any Noahs in the crowd:

  • 2014/02/19: APOD: A Rainbow Pileus Cloud over Zimbabwe

    Looking ahead to COP20 and future international climate negotiations:

    The G20 met this weekend. Climate was not on the agenda:

    There was a NAFTA confab this week as well:

    Still some chatter about that England et al. paper on Pacific trade winds and ocean heating:

    How is the German Energy Transition [Energiewende] doing?

    And on the Bottom Line:

    Who’s getting the subsidies, tax exemptions, loan guarantees & grants?

    Here is something for your Crap Detector:

    John Cook and friends continue their point-counterpoint articles:

    A note on theFukushima disaster:

      It is evident that the Fukushima disaster is going to persist for some time. TEPCO says 6 to 9 months. The previous Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, said decades. Now the Japanese government is talking about 30 years. [Whoops, that has now been updated to 40 years.]
      And the IAEA is now saying 40 years too.
      [Now some people are talking about a century or more. Sealing it in concrete for 500 years.]
      We’ll see.
      At any rate this situation is not going to be resolved any time soon and deserves its own section.
      Meanwhile…
      It is very difficult to know for sure what is really going on at Fukushima. Between the company [TEPCO], the Japanese government, the Japanese regulator [NISA], the international monitor [IAEA], as well as independent analysts and commentators, there is a confusing mish-mash of information. One has to evaluate both the content and the source of propagated information.
      How knowledgeable are they [about nuclear power and about Japan]?
      Do they have an agenda?
      Are they pro-nuclear or anti-nuclear?
      Do they want to write a good news story?
      Do they want to write a bad news story?
      Where do they rate on a scale of sensationalism?
      Where do they rate on a scale of play-it-down-ness?
      One fundamental question I would like to see answered:
      If the reactors are in meltdown, how can they be in cold shutdown?

    Not much good news coming out of Fukushima:

    What do we have for Fukushima related papers this week?

    The Arctic melt continues to garner attention:

    That Damoclean sword still hangs overhead:

    While in Antarctica:

    The food crisis is ongoing:

    The state of the world’s fisheries is a concern. See also:

    Food Prices are still problematic:

    Regarding the food factor in the ongoing revolutions:

    So, are these land grabs Colonialism V2.0?

    Regarding the genetic modification of food:

    And how are we going to feed 9 billion, 10 billion, 15 billion?

    Another mercifully quiet week, except for Guito in the South Indian Ocean:

    While elsewhere in the hurricane wars:

  • 2014/02/18: al Jazeera: One hundred days since Typhoon Haiyan
    Parts of the Philippines affected by the storm remain a long way from recovery, and aid is drying up.
  • 2014/02/18: ABC(Au): The Great Gold Coast Cyclone – February 1954
  • 2014/02/17: Wunderground: NHC Adds Unnamed Subtropical Storm to 2013′s Atlantic Tally

    This week in notable weather:

    Yes we have no wacky weather, except:

    Got any forecasts?

    This week in the New Normal — extreme weather:

    Polar Vortex? Rossby Waves? Blocking Patterns? Arctic Oscillation?
    What is the Arctic melt doing to our weather?

    Meanwhile on the GHG front:

    And in the carbon cycle:

    Aerosols are making their presence felt:

    What’s up with volcanoes this week?

    Yes we have feedbacks:

    And on the ENSO front:

    As for the temperature record:

    While in the paleoclimate:

    What’s the State of the Oceans?:

    And the State of the Biosphere?

    And on the extinction watch:

    The bees and Colony Collapse Disorder are a constant concern. And then, there are the Neonicotinoids:

    How are the Insect Orders doing?

    • 2014/02/19: BBC: Farmland butterflies bounce back
      Farmland butterflies have flourished thanks to last year’s hot summer, the charity Butterfly Conservation says. The annual Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey (WCBS) recorded almost double the number of insects compared with the previous year. Long, sunny periods provided perfect breeding conditions for some of the UK’s brightest species, it suggested.

    More GW impacts are being seen:

    And then there are the world’s forests:

    Climate refugees are becoming an issue. See also:

    Emerging diseases accompany ecological change:

    Aerosols affect the climate, but they also affect people’s health:

    On the tornado front:

    As for heatwaves and wild fires:

    Glaciers are melting:

    Sea levels are rising:

    These extreme rainfall events are becoming all too frequent:

    As for hydrological cycle disruptions [floods & droughts]:

    First, stop subsidizing fossil fuels
    Second, put a price on carbon
    Third, begin to reduce the human population
    And elsewhere on the mitigation front:

    Consider transportation & GHG production:

    While in the endless quest for zero energy, sustainable buildings and practical codes:

    As for carbon sequestration:

    Large scale geo-engineering keeps popping up:

    What’s new in conservation?

    • 2014/02/21: BBC: Tourism best hope for critically endangered lemurs
      Madagascar’s lemurs – the world’s most threatened primate – could be saved from extinction by eco-tourism, conservationists say. The big-eyed fluffy creatures are unique to the island but their numbers have declined dramatically in recent years. Now researchers have unveiled a survival plan that combines tourism with increased conservation efforts.

    While on the adaptation front:

    Meanwhile in the journals:

    And other significant documents:

    As for miscellaneous science:

    In the science organizations:

    More DIY science:

    What developments in the ongoing struggle for Open Science?

    Regarding Wilson:

    Meanwhile at the UN:

    And on the carbon trading front:

    • 2014/02/17: RTCC: Iran considers use of carbon trading to cut CO2
      The Islamic Republic, one of the developing world’s biggest emitters, may launch carbon bourse to improve efficiency and cut emissions Iran may introduce emissions trading to curb consumption of fossil fuels and cut its carbon emissions, a government official in charge of energy efficiency said at the weekend.

    The Robin Hood tax, aka the Tobin tax, aka the Bank tax, aka the Financial Transaction tax, keeps coming up:

    The debate over the optimal carbon reduction strategy resurrected:

    On the international political front, tensions continue as the empire leans on Iran:

    In the solar squabbles:

    • 2014/02/18: Grist: U.S. tries to have it both ways with solar trade policy
      Remember how the U.S. trade representative announced last week that he would haul India before the World Trade Organization to try to force the country to accept more solar-panel imports? It’s a reaction to India’s efforts to protect its own solar industry as it massively boosts its renewable energy capacity. Darnedest thing: The U.S. government on Friday moved closer to imposing trade restrictions that would limit imports of Taiwanese-made solar components into the U.S.

    These ‘free trade’ treaties should be called the corporate control treaties:

    As for miscellaneous international political happenings:

    Climate Change is a threat multiplier exacerbating existing conflicts in food, energy, water, race, resources, religion, ideology … etc.:

    The issue of the law and activism is playing out around the world:

    What are the activists up to?

    The move to divest from fossil fuel investments is growing slowly:

    Polls! We have polls!

    Regarding Water Politics and Business; See also:

    Regarding science education:

    While in the UK:

    And in Europe:

    Meanwhile in Australia:

    Now we get to watch the suppository of wisdom destroy what little Australia has done to fight climate change:

    The Abbott government has ordered a review of the renewable energy target:

    The Abbott government is providing a preview of what climate refugees can expect:

    After years of wrangling, the Murray Darling Basin Plan is in place, but the water management fights are far from finished:

    And in the Indian subcontinent:

    While in China:

    And elsewhere in Asia:

    And South America:

    In Canada, neocon PM Harper, aka The Blight, pushes petroleum while ignoring the climate and ecology:

    Resonances of the Lac Mégantic tragedy linger:

    The Harper gang is pushing some fundamentally destructive science policies:

    Some reaction to the Elsipogtog fracking protests gathers:

    • 2014/02/19: CBC: Court grants RCMP access to media tapes to ID Rexton suspects
      Documents give new insight into clash between police and anti-shale gas protesters in October A provincial court judge has granted an RCMP request to have access to videotape and photographs taken by CBC and four other media organizations during a clash between police and anti-shale gas protesters in Rexton, N.B., last October. The RCMP wants the videotapes and photographs in an effort to identify who set six RCMP vehicles on fire near the protest, resulting in damages of more than $250,000.

    The battle over the Northern Gateway pipeline rages on:

    The Liberals are holding a policy convention this week:

    Some possible movement for the ELA:

    • 2014/02/18: CBC: Experimental Lakes Area operator needs changes to Fisheries Act
      Federal announcement puts Experimental Lakes Area one step closer to changing hands The federal government is paving the way for a third party to keep the Experimental Lakes Area in operation. Last year Ottawa and the International Institute for Sustainable Development signed a Memorandum of Understanding. And now, the government has proposed changes to the Fisheries Act to allow the Winnipeg-based institute to re-open the ELA.

    Meanwhile in BC:

    And in that Mechanical Mordor known as the tar sands:

    Also in Alberta:

    And in Ontario:

    In the North:

    • 2014/02/20: CBC: Conservatives eye Arctic reindeer reserve for oil and gas
      Tracts of land that had been set aside for reindeer grazing in Canada’s North have instead been offered up by the Conservative government for oil and gas exploration, newly released documents show. Companies interested in obtaining petroleum exploration rights in the Mackenzie Delta and Beaufort Sea region of the Northwest Territories were asked last year to nominate blocks of land that they wanted to see included in a subsequent call for bids. Reindeer-grazing reserves near the communities of Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk were among the lands that were included in that call for nominations, pending a necessary amendment to an order-in-council imposed in 2010.
    • 2014/02/18: CBC: In Mackenzie Delta, songbird wake-up a thing of the past

    As for miscellaneous Canadiana:

    And on the American political front:

    The Keystone XL wheel grinds slowly. And it grinds woe:

    First there was the Keystone XL. Now it is joined by the Alberta Clipper:

    You may have noticed Texas and the EPA feuding in the past. This is why:

    Leaks and spills:

    In North Carolina, Duke Energy spilled coal ash slurry into the Dan River:

    In West Virginia, Freedom Industries spilled coal cleaning chemicals into the Elk river:

    Earlier in Arkansas, Exxon, spilled dilbit into the suburb of Mayflower:

    The BP disaster continues to twist US politics. See also:

    In West Virginia, Gary Partners spilled black water into a creek:

    • 2014/02/19: TP:JR: Blackwater, A Third Kind Of Coal Waste, Is Now Leaking Into A West Virginia Creek
      Regulators in West Virginia are working to clean up yet another coal waste spill, after runoff from melting snow overran sediment control ponds at a slurry impoundment, sending polluted water into a creek. The slurry impoundment — which is essentially a large pool of sludge, leftover from the coal mining and preparation processes — had been re-opened by a company called Gary Partners LLC to mine the leftover bits of coal, according a report from the Charleston Gazette. After recently-fallen snow began to melt around the impoundment, it began to overflow the site’s sediment control ponds, sending something called “blackwater” into a nearby creek.

    In North Dakota, numerous oil and chemical spills typify boom times:

    John Kerry’s speech on climate change got a few people going:

    Looking ahead to the 2016 election:

    The actions of the Obama administration are being watched closely:

    As for what is going on in Congress:

    What are the lobbyists pushing?

    The movement toward a long term ecologically viable economics is glacial:

    In nature, there is no garbage:

    IPAT [Impact = Population * Affluence * Technology] raised its head once again:

    Apocalypso anyone?

    Why we fight:

    How do the corporate media measure up?

    Here is something for your library:

    And for your film & video enjoyment:

    Meanwhile among the ‘Sue the Bastards!’ contingent:

    The Mann defamation suit saga rolls on:

    It looks like this BP trial over the Gulf oil spill is going to take a long while:

    Wrestling over a new energy infrastructure continues unabated:

    What do you have in energy comparisons and transitions?

    Hey! Let’s contaminate the aquifers for thousands of years! It’ll be a fracking gas!

    On the coal front:

    On the gas and oil front:

    And in pipeline news:

    Ships and boats and trains — How to tranport the stuff?

    Marvelous! Now the USA has their own Mechanical Mordor:

    Yes we have a peak oil sighting:

    Biofuel bickering abounds:

    The answer my friend…

    Meanwhile among the solar aficionados:

    The nuclear energy controversy continues:

    Nuclear waste storage requires _very_ long term thinking:

    Feed-In-Tariffs are being variously implemented around the world:

    Like a mirage, the dream of a Hydrogen Economy shimmers on the horizon:

    More people are talking about the electrical grid:

    How are the utilities adjusting (or not)?

    And then there is the matter of efficiency & conservation:

    Automakers & lawyers, engineers & activists argue over the future of the car:

    This week in the Gee Whiz File:

    As for Energy Storage:

    The reaction of business to climate change will be critical:

    Insurance and re-insurance companies are feeling the heat:

    What do we have in (weekly) lists?

    Anything in pithy quotes this week?

    The carbon lobby are up to the usual:

    So why is nothing getting done?

    • 2014/02/18: RealEconomics: Who wants to hear about problems they cannot solve?
      It required a long time for me to understand that the BIG dilemma of climate change wasn’t caused by the folks who deny its existence but rather by those who passionately believe the science but fail to do anything about it. So I find comfort that an American Sociologist named Kari Norgaard has chosen to look at precisely this problem — even though I am not exactly enchanted with her conclusions. Norgaard focuses on the psychology of climate change fatigue — which is certainly a very real phenomenon. Yet my favorite question is, What is possibly served by getting people all worked up about a subject they can do almost nothing about?

    As for climate miscellanea:

    And here are a couple of sites you may find interesting and/or useful:


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