Tag Archives | Climate Change

Randall Carlson: My Journey to Catastrophism

Journey_Catastrophism_Cover_Crop“The truth of the matter is that our understanding of climate change is in its infancy and to claim otherwise is a dangerous delusion.”

“The evidence proving the reality of mighty catastrophes is scattered all about the face of the Earth, it is everywhere about us. To one who can read the geological record the story revealed is one of repeated world destructions, catastrophe layered upon catastrophe, one world built upon and out of the wreckage of former worlds. The sobering thing to ponder is that the wreckage of the previous world, the one whose destruction and disappearance from the planetary stage cleared the way for the commencement of the present age, is only 10,000 years old. The transition out of the last great ice age, the transition from the Pleistocene Epoch to the Holocene, involved a series of planetary convulsions of almost inconceivable violence and power. With only a few exceptions, the fact that an event of this magnitude stands at the threshold of recorded history and the rise of modern civilization, along with the implications that it portends, remains unrecognized and unacknowledged by virtually the whole of the human race.” – Randall Carlson


I spent most of my youth in rural Minnesota.… Read the rest

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Stop Giving Airtime to Crackpots

Here in America, there’s whole political ideologies consisting of crackpots and media pundits whose bread and butter is wingnuttery.

via Slate

English: "The removal of the cracked melt...

“The removal of the cracked melting pot” (1884), painting by Constantin Meunier (1831-1905) Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (CC)

In very welcome news, BBC journalists have been told to stop inviting crackpots on news shows in the name of balance.

Oh, I do so love this. It’s precisely the right thing to do, sorely needed and sorely overdue. In this specific case, back in 2012 the BBC was criticized for news shows inviting on people with fringe views, especially when the science being discussed was solidly understood.

Obviously, the topic most abused in this way was the reality of global warming. That should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying any attention at all.

But more broadly, most TV news shows do this, especially when they are done with a talk show format.

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Weekly Poll Update: ‘What current issue is most important?’

Old Poll

Our first weekly poll was a relative success. In light of our soon-to-be released Boredom, we asked your opinions on one of the issues raised in the film. It seems the majority of you agree with director Albert Nerenberg’s conclusion. The results are below:

Are Smart Phones Making Us More Bored?

  • Yes (69%, 121 Votes)
  • No (31%, 54 Votes)

Total Voters: 175

Poll

New Poll

This week’s poll is comparatively longer: “What current issue is most important?” For each answer (except Immigration and Guns rights), we have a documentary that addresses said issue. I’ve linked them, if any of you are interested.

· Climate Change – Greedy Lying BastardsUnacceptable Levels, Into the Cold

· Overuse of chemicals and plastics – Tapped, Unacceptable Levels

· Education – Boredom, Equation of Life, Journey of the UniverseDrawing with Mark

· Disappearance of Bees – Bee People, Vanishing of the Bees

· NSA/Government Surveillance – War on Whistleblowers

· Corporate Corruption – Koch Brothers Exposed, Greedy Lying Bastards, Mobilize

· Immigration

· Economy (in general) – In Debt We Trust

· Military-industrial complex – Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars, Whittle: The Jet Pioneer, Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers

· Gun rights

· Gay rights – The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls

· Torture and Government Conspiracy – Doctors of the Dark Side

· Religion – American Jesus, Exorcist in the 21st Century

Another Shameless Plug: Since I’ve already shamelessly promoted a dozen or so of TDC’s films, I might as well do another plug about our new donate button.… Read the rest

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Stopping harmful climate change is surprisingly cheap

brass tacks

brass tacks (Photo credit: MicroAssist) (CC)

If some of us can get past distractions such as percentages of scientists, political theatrics, corporate think tanks, etc. We may be able to get down to brass tacks and talk about money.

via New Scientist

Saving our skins might be surprisingly cheap. To avoid dangerous climate change, the world needs to boost spending on green energy by $1 trillion a year. That sounds scarily large, but we could cover a lot of it using the subsidies currently handed to fossil fuels.

Governments have agreed to limit global warming to 2°C, because more than that may be impossible to adapt to. “We need to drastically transform our energy system,” says David McCollum of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria. “It is high time we thought about how much capital is needed.”

McCollum’s team plugged that gap by analysing six different models that combine data on greenhouse gas emissions, energy scenarios and investment costs.

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The Mathematically Correct Way to Debate Climate Change

A recent Disinfo article about climate change denial by Camron Wiltshire has caused quite the controversy among many Disinfonauts. A lot of you have written to us to express your concern and outrage. To present somewhat of a light-hearted counter argument, I give to you John Oliver and the correct way to debate climate change:

As a general reminder, Disinfo doesn’t necessarily endorse all ideas presented by columnists on our blog. With films like Greedy Lying Bastards, we actually side with those 97% of scientists.

Carry on.

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Win $10k if You Can Prove Climate Change Wrong

800px-ShipTracks_MODIS_2005may11If you’re as annoyed with climate change deniers as physics professor, Dr. Christopher Keating, you can finally tell them to put up or shut up.

A physics professor is so fed up with the claims made by ‘climate change deniers’ that he has launched a ‘$10,000 Global Warming Skeptic Challenge.’

The challenge issued by Dr. Christopher Keating, a professor who previously taught at the University of South Dakota and the U.S. Naval Academy, according to a news release, will award prize money to anyone who uses the scientific method to prove that human activity has not been a factor leading to climate change.

Keating is even willing to accept unoriginal scientific evidence.

‘I know you are not going to get rich with $10,000. But, tell me, wouldn’t you like to have a spare $10,000? After all, the skeptics all claim it is a simple matter, and it doesn’t even have to be original,’ Keating wrote.

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According to the World Bank, Preventing Climate Change Would Help the Economy

Credit: Collection of Dr. Pablo Clemente-Colon, Chief Scientist National Ice Center.

Credit: Collection of Dr. Pablo Clemente-Colon, Chief Scientist National Ice Center.

Yes, you read that right. Implementing preventative measures and tackling the climate change before it gets worse would actually save us money and boost the economy. Well, according to the World Bank, who seem to be pro-climate change when dollar signs are in the mix.

Fighting climate change would help grow the world economy, according to the World Bank, adding up to $2.6tn (£1.5tn) a year to global GDP in the coming decades.

The findings, made available in a report on Tuesday, offer a sharp contrast with claims by the Australian government that fighting climate change would “clobber” the economy.

The report also advances on the work of economists who have argued that it will be far more costly in the long run to delay action on climate change.

Instead, Tuesday’s report found a number of key policies – none of which included putting an economy-wide price on carbon – would lead to global GDP gains of between $1.8tn and $2.6tn a year by 2030, in terms of new jobs, increased crop productivity and public health benefits.

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120-Foot-Long Jellyfish Loves Climate Change, Possibly Your Soft, Delicious Eyes

Pic: Dan Hershman (CC)

Pic: Dan Hershman (CC)

No, it doesn’t eat eyes. As far as I know. Wait –  you don’t know for sure, do you? So yeah. It totally eats eyes. Ate my cousin’s friend’s eyes. Cyanea capillata: Latin for Probably Waiting For You To Wade Out Up To Your Ankles.

…this is the world’s largest jellyfish, with a bell that reaches a staggering 8 feet wide and tentacles that grow to 120 feet long, far longer than a blue whale. And this monster is really, really loving the whole global warming thing, conquering more and more of Earth’s oceans in massive blooms. So please, if you will, welcome our new giant gelatinous overlords.

It’s those seemingly endless tentacles, hundreds and hundreds of them, that make this incredible growth possible, according to Lisa-Ann Gershwin, a marine biologist with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. “They’ve got all of these fishing lures out there at the same time,” she said.

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House GOP Tells Commie Pentagon To Forget About All That “Global Warming” Nonsense

pentagonMaybe they can ban differing kinds of camo next.  You know, to save money.  Abby Zimet writes at CommonDreams:

As even our historically less-than-progressive military increasingly identifies climate change as a threat to national security, House Republicans in their infinite wisdom last week passed a bill blocking funding for any Pentagon program that tries to do anything about saving the planet that pretty much everyone at this point agrees is in danger. Because climate change is just a “political hot item of the day” that “has nothing to do with winning battles” and “is it wise to continue to violently disrupt a culture which is fueled by tradition and a fierce warrior ethos by forcing them to constantly adjust to the popular political trends of the day?” when anyway it was Democrats who “snuck some language into the National Defense Authorization Act which got our military considering the ‘threat’ of climate change” even though “the link between extreme weather and global warming is (a) very shaky foundation upon which to reshape America’s defense strategy” and really we need to free up the military to “concentrate on addressing real man-made threats to our national independence…a mission they can actually do something about!” Noting “the flat earth society is at it again,” critics in the House called the bill “science denial at its worst.” Hopefully, it will fail in the Senate.

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Increasing CO2 Will Lead to ‘Most Significant Health Threat Ever Shown to be Associated with Climate Change’

Wheat Ear milk fullOf all the threats posed by climate change, who would have guessed that “[g]iven that an estimated 2 billion people suffer from zinc and iron deficiencies, resulting in a loss of 63 million life years annually from malnutrition, the reduction in these nutrients represents the most significant health threat ever shown to be associated with climate change”?

Todd Datz, Harvard School of Public Health Communications, reports for the Harvard Gazette on a new study led by HSPH:

At the elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 anticipated by around 2050, crops that provide a large share of the global population with most of their dietary zinc and iron will have significantly reduced concentrations of those nutrients, according to a new study led byHarvard School of Public Health (HSPH). Given that an estimated 2 billion people suffer from zinc and iron deficiencies, resulting in a loss of 63 million life years annually from malnutrition, the reduction in these nutrients represents the most significant health threat ever shown to be associated with climate change.

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