Dr. Richard Milne speaking at Edinburgh University:
Dr. Richard Milne speaking at Edinburgh University:
Daniel Pinchbeck’s Nov. 3, 2012 speech given at the La Calaca Festival TedX in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico is transcribed at Reality Sandwich:
Last week I was in New York City, my home, for Hurricane Sandy. At 7 pm that night, I walked to my corner and saw the floodwaters rising toward my block. I hurried home, grabbed a few things, and set out for a friend’s house on higher ground. As I was hurrying away, I heard muffled explosions and saw eerie lights in the sky. It was the Con Edison plant blowing up.
Once-in-a-century super-storms and “Frankenstorms” are now annual events, regular occurrences, and quickly growing worse.
Sandy supports what I have been writing and saying for years about this time as one of intense transformation and planetary initiation. I wrote a book and made a ﬁlm about the Mayan calendar and the year 2012.
As efforts continue to recover from Hurricane Sandy throughout New York and New Jersey, we stumbled on this surprising 2011 talk from TEDxBermuda: “The 9 biggest weather disasters of the next 30 years.”
In the talk, given in October of last year, hurricane hunter and meteorologist Jeff Masters — who writes a blog for Weather Underground — predicts nine unthinkable weather disasters that could hit the United States over the next 30 years. We’re talking about storms that are dangerous to society, events that could cause $100 billion in damages and knock major cities and industries offline …
And number six just happened.
Dr. Christian Shorey discusses what aspects of hurricane Sandy probably are, might be, and definitely aren’t related to climate change:
We’re going to be seeing a lot of headlines like this one (from BusinessWeek), but is it really so simple?
Yes, yes, it’s unsophisticated to blame any given storm on climate change. Men and women in white lab coats tell us—and they’re right—that many factors contribute to each severe weather episode. Climate deniers exploit scientific complexity to avoid any discussion at all.
Clarity, however, is not beyond reach. Hurricane Sandy demands it: At least 40 U.S. deaths. Economic losses expected to climb as high as $50 billion. Eight million homes without power. Hundreds of thousands of people evacuated. More than 15,000 flights grounded. Factories, stores, and hospitals shut. Lower Manhattan dark, silent, and underwater.
An unscientific survey of the social networking literature on Sandy reveals an illuminating tweet (you read that correctly) from Jonathan Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. On Oct. 29, Foley thumbed thusly: “Would this kind of storm happen without climate change?
FOR almost 20 years, I’ve been spending time on a craggy stretch of British Columbia’s shoreline called the Sunshine Coast. This summer, I had an experience that reminded me why I love this place, and why I chose to have a child in this sparsely populated part of the world.
It was 5 a.m. and my husband and I were up with our 3-week-old son. Looking out at the ocean, we spotted two towering, black dorsal fins: orcas, or killer whales. Then two more. We had never seen an orca on the coast, and never heard of their coming so close to shore. In our sleep-deprived state, it felt like a miracle, as if the baby had wakened us to make sure we didn’t miss this rare visit.
“Gasoline closing in on a record $5 a gallon prompted Governor Jerry Brown to direct California regulators to relax smog controls so oil refineries could increase supplies of cheaper fuel… [granting] refineries permission to make an early shift to winter-blend gasoline, typically not sold until after Oct. 31.”
Some have cited problems at refineries for the spike in fuel costs, some have put the blame on a short squeeze, some have suggested that policies and regulations that “insist refiners produce a specific blend of gas to meet tough state air quality standards” are the culprit, while others have been warning us for years of pending higher fuel costs due to peak oil.
Speculation, however, as to the causes of the price spike are a moot point. What matters is the admission by our representatives in government that our current economic system cannot support high oil prices, and that the environment and our health will be sacrificed to keep the machine churning.
Via Democracy Now
Douglas Fischer reports for the Daily Climate:
A new “addendum” to be released as soon as this week purports to update with the latest science a 2009 federal assessment on the impacts to the United States of climate change.
The addendum matches the layout and design of the original, published by the U.S. Global Change Research Program: Cover art, “key message” sections, table of contents are all virtually identical, down to the chapter heads, fonts and footnotes.
But the new report comes from the libertarian Washington, D.C.-based Cato Institute. And its findings – that science is questionable, the impacts negligible and the potential policy solutions ineffective – are more a rebuke than a revision of the original report and of accepted science both then and today.
“It’s not an addendum. It’s a counterfeit,” said John Abraham, an associate professor at the University of Saint Thomas in Minnesota who studies clean power sources.
Solar geoengineering, the goal of which is to offset the global warming caused by greenhouse gases, involves reflecting sunlight back into space. By increasing the concentrations of aerosols in the stratosphere or by creating low-altitude marine clouds, the as-yet hypothetical solar geoengineering projects would scatter incoming solar heat away from the Earth’s surface.
Critics of geoengineering have long warned that such a global intervention would have unequal effects around the world and could result in unforeseen consequences. They argue that the potential gains may not be worth the risk.
“Our research goes a step beyond the one-size-fits-all approach to explore how careful tailoring of solar geoengineering can reduce possible inequalities and risks,” says co-author David Keith, Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School.