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Found 3 results

  1. The 'polar vortex' and severe cold weather don't mean climate change isn't happening, writes Yarrow Axford.   "Climate change is a painstakingly well-documented long-term global trend, in which each recent decade has been warmer than the decade before. This is generally true for most parts of the globe, but more importantly is true when one considers the Earth as a whole. [...] Despite the overwhelming evidence that our planet is warming, there are two points of perpetual confusion that combine with our psychology to make winter weather a seasonal boon for climate skepticism. For one, a cold snap where we live should not be confused for a global event."   Read it: No, Global Warming Isn't Suddenly a Myth Because It's Really Cold Out
  2. Beware uncertainty! It can cut both ways - something the climate change deniers want us to ignore at our peril. The well-funded deniers have taken advantage of the great amounts of uncertainty about climate science, climate change, and the interlocking web of life that is nature, the nature on which humanity depends for its existence. And they have been correct that there has been and continues to be much uncertainty. Climate models and projections are guesstimates, not absolute proof. The world's climate system is complex and interacts in sometimes unexpected ways. But the climate change deniers imply, or state outright, that all this uncertainty means that things might not be so bad. They want people to conclude that there is nothing but upside to it. The problem is that uncertainty can work the other way too. It can mean that things are much worse than we thought - and we already thought they were pretty bad. For example, one of the uncertainties about climate change has been about exactly how the systems of cloud formation affect climate. Do clouds reflect, deflect, or absorb the sun's rays? To what degree? Does cloud cover make climate change better or worse? We haven't known. But a new study, published in Nature, a scientific establishment journal of record, peer reviewed and fact-checked, shows that as the climate changes and warms significantly, cloud formation changes as well, and a warming climate will decrease our cloud cover. As a result there will be fewer lower-level clouds to ameliorate the earth's warming. What this means is that the predictions up til now, based on calculations that did not include any cloud-related factors, have underestimated how much the climate will heat up by the end of the century. As we learn more, some of the uncertainty disappears. It is replaced by a certainty that if we don't act soon and in radical fashion to address the causes of climate change, we will sweep past the conservative estimates of 2 degrees Celsius of climate change. That figure might (there's that uncertainty again) keep climate change from affecting humanity and natural systems in catastrophic ways. But the new calculations, taking into account the new certainties about clouds, project an increase of 4 degrees Celsius (about 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100, double the already-dire predictions of mainstream climate scientists. As other studies have suggested, the most drastic impacts of climate change will likely come from those effects we don't fully understand yet. Realistic optimism needs to be based on facts, on reality, on demonstrated understanding of how the world works. The laws of physics can't be repealed or annulled by legislative action. And the uncertainty about how bad climate change is going to get can mean it will get a lot worse a lot sooner than even the most dire projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Nobel Prize-winning United Nations body of scientists charged with evaluating the latest in climate science. All these predictions can be depressing. But the hopeful signs come from the growing movements around the world for curbing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the many related environmental problems we face. The divestment movement, the anti-fracking movement, the many cities and states as well as countries that are taking real action, the positive steps from the Obama administration such as regulating existing and future coal-powered plants and increasing auto standards, all will help, even though they are not yet anywhere near enough to address the enormity of the problems. What is needed is a massive worldwide movement, inclusive of many organizations, many strategies, and many fronts. Photo credit: Arbyreed (cc). This article was first published in People's World by Marc Brodine.
  3. As you know. This past Friday in Norway Anders Behring Breivik, a conservative, islamophobic and Christian terrorist, detonated a car bomb outside the office of the country's Prime Minister and other government buildings in Oslo. Less than two hours later on the island of Utøya the fascist opened fire at a political youth camp organized by the youth organization (AUF) of the Norwegian Labour Party (AP) killing nearly 70 people, many of whom were only children, and wounding many more. In a 1500-page long "manifesto", published on the web shortly before the two attacks, Breivik described his religious and fascist conspiracy theories. In addition to the average islamophobic, undemoratic and nationalistic rantings about Muslims taking over Europe and whatnot he also had a section called "Green is the new Red - Stop Enviro-Communism". According to Breivik global warming is just a eco-Marxist plot, or a "Anthropogenic Global Warming scam", with the end goal of creating a world government: "You might know them as environmentalists, enviro-communists, eco-Marxists, neo-Communists or eco-fanatics. They all claim they want to save the world from global warming but their true agenda is to contribute to create a world government lead by the UN or in other ways increase the transfer of resources (redistribute resources) from the developed Western world to the third world. They hope to accomplish this through the distribution of misinformation (propaganda) which they hope will lead to increased taxation of already excessively taxed Europeans and US citizens." Considering the fact that Breivik for several years was a member of the Norwegian Fremskrittspartiet (FrP/FpU), a far-right political party that strongly push the idea of climate change being "exaggerated", the news of him being a climate denier really doesn't come to any surprise. But it does show what kind of "endorsements" other and more mainstream climate deniers have. No wonder the two conservative and climate denying talking heads Glenn Back and Bill O'Reilley tried to downplay the terrorist attack in Norway and distance themselves from Breivik. For example. In his radio show Glenn Beck likened the dead Norwegian children on Utøya to Hitler youth. And Bill O'Reilley criticized the media for labeling Breivik as a Christian terrorist and foolishly tried to claim that such a thing was "impossible". Brad Johnson, from the liberal think-tank and blog Thinkprogress, writes more about Breivik's crazy environmental conspiracy theories and links them to the rhetoric used by American conservatives: "Although Breivik's conspiracy theories are insane, they are in line with mainstream opinion among American conservatives. He cites Christopher Monckton's speech before the Minnesota Free Market Institute in 2009, accusing President Obama of trying to cede United States sovereignty to the United Nations through climate treaties. Monckton - a rabid conspiracy theorist who claims his opponents are Nazis - was a Republican witness before Congress on global warming in 2010." If you are interested in reading the climate ramblings of a madman and a mass murderer, Brad Johnson has published the whole manifesto excerpt from Breivik's climate denying chapter here.