Well, it turns out every cloud does have a silver lining. A major impact of climate change has been the rapid loss of Arctic sea ice. The absence of sea ice, in turn, has led to the development of big waves which are, in their turn, contributing to the break up of the remaining sea ice. But there is a silver lining to all of this. The Arctic Ocean is now open for surfing.
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- John Abraham and Dana Nuccitelli discuss the worrisome spread of climate change denialism, particularly around the English-speaking developed world. But lest we accept the theory that declining public knowledge is independent of political choices, Margaret Munro reports that the Cons are suppressing factual scientific information about Arctic ice levels to avoid the Canadian public being better informed, while Tom Korski exposes a particularly galling example of their vilifying top scientists for reporting their results. And John O’Connor reminds us what’s been done to anybody who’s dared to speak out about the effect (Read more…)
You would think if you were a country particularly prone to being mugged by severe storm events of increasing intensity, frequency and destructiveness you might be just as particularly receptive to overwhelming scientific evidence of the causes. However if you happen to be one of the major English-speaking countries you are and you aren’t. When it comes to Australia, the United States, Canada and Britain, all four countries are being hammered by climate change impacts yet remain among the countries least likely to accept the scientific evidence.
All four countries are governed by right of centre legislatures in which denialism (Read more…)
As the effects of climate change become more pronounced, adaptive measures will need to taken alongside of measures ameliorating the rate of change (if that is in fact still even possible).
One such step has been undertaken in California, a state that has been especially hard hit by drought. Orange County has undertaken an ambitious waste water recycling regimen that will likely become the norm in other parts of the country and world facing similar conditions.
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Jon Brooks is a Canadian singer-songwriter. If you haven’t heard him yet, you are in for a treat. Here he is talking and singing about hope.
It's so hot out you can't even hear the #climatechange Deniers making jokes about "Where's Global Warming?"…— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) August 14, 2014
Yes, it’s so hot out you can’t even hear the #climatechange Deniers making jokes about “Where’s Global Warming?”… you know, because when it’s -30 you hear the ignorant phone into radio shows and ask if the globe is warming, why is it so cold in Canada in Winter?
It’s over 30 degrees in Regina today, there was a heat warning from Environment Canada.
To Asia’s three nuclear powers, the Tibetan plateau represents life or death. China, India and Pakistan are all dependent on the headwaters of rivers that are fed by the glaciers in Tibet. The geo-political enormity of these rivers drove China to invade and occupy Tibet in 1950.
What happens in the Himalayas powerfully impacts the security of these three Asian powers. That’s why a new study on the state of the plateau is particularly worrisome.
The report from the Chinese Academy of Sciences concludes that the Tibetan plateau has experienced double the average level of global warming and that the (Read more…)
We owe a lot to Carl-Gustav Rossby, the Swedish-born American scientist who pioneered research into atmospheric thermodynamics at MIT and was instrumental in the university establishing America’s first department of meteorology.
Today, Rossby’s name is most commonly associated with this:
This image depicts what are sometimes called “Rossby Waves”, the deep and meandering jet stream waves that now draw warm air from the south far up into the north and cold northern air far into the south. Remember when Atlantic City went into deep freeze in February while a small village in northern Alaska basked in 62 degree F heat? (Read more…)
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Jack Peat argues for trickle-up economics to ensure that everybody shares in our common resources (while also encouraging economic development): Good capitalism is the ability to promote incentives and opportunity in equal measure. Sway too far one way and the potential of human capital is stifled, sway too far in the other direction and the willingness to realise this potential also goes amiss. Of late, bad capitalism has manifested itself in incentives over opportunities, and has become a parasitic drag on our economic growth as a result.
A recent IMF study has (Read more…)
Happy August! Happy Day!
I have a few comments about this, the 1,000th editorial at Politics, Re-Spun. But you can read them below, about my sabbatical plan, new visions for this almost 12-year-old website, and other things.
But at the top of this post, I have something slightly more urgent to delve into before I check out for a break.
That great sick freak, Donald Rumsfeld is generally credited with popularizing the concept of unknown unknowns to our modern/post-modern era. Being a sick freak, he spun that bafflement (Read more…)
With the mountain of evidence piling up against dirty tarsand bitumen extraction, those who’ve sucked on the oilpatch teat too long to maintain any perspective, are desperate to save face.
Some think saving face means making fun of mine.
@saskboy New compelling evidence that saskboys goatee is a climate change denier. @JJRossi_ k I'm done now. http://t.co/yVjz20y1Lk— FWC (@welloiledgun) August 09, 2014
Federal government has spent $40 million in promoting the #oilsands: study ht.ly/A7NZ2 cc @CleanEnergyCan http://t.co/RsqMfOXKlJ— Vancouver Observer (@VanObserver) August 09, 2014
@saskboy @JJRossi_ @Fitzzer777 I am (Read more…)
Assorted content to end your week.
- Jenna Smialiek reports on Gabriel Zucman’s conclusion that the .1% has managed to prevent the rest of us from even approaching reasonable estimates as to how much wealth is being hoarded at the top. And Bryce Covert discusses how that carefully-cultivated lack of knowledge figures to distort policy debates.
- Meanwhile, Emily Schwartz Greco and William Collins note that even slight positive news for most of the population – such as modest employment growth in the U.S. – is being treated as a catastrophe by Wall Street since it could result in (Read more…)
In memory of my mom, whom we are officially saying goodbye to this afternoon at a memorial service. * * JonBrooks.ca
Posted by MoS, the Disaffected Lib:
There have been a number of reports over the past year or two that, taken collectively, seem to point to major changes underway in the Arctic. It’s not one thing but a number of changes that are synergistic, each building on the other. These include the rapidly warming Arctic atmosphere and the creation of the more powerful polar jet stream; the loss of Arctic sea ice at rates that were not contemplated even a few years ago; the warming of Arctic Ocean waters, sea level rise and the recent observation of big waves where (Read more…)
Here, on the need to take downside risks into account in discussing industrial development – especially when our water, land and lives are at stake.
For further reading…- The CP and Jenni Sheppard report on the many warning signs which should have identified the causes of the Mount Polley spill before it turned a town’s water toxic. Stephen Hume rightly concludes that the spill can be traced to a lax regulatory culture. Alison Bailey’s report points out that similar ponds set up for larger mining projects could cause even more damage. And Nature Canada discusses the deliberate choice (Read more…)
“It” refers to severe storm events of the type that flooded Toronto and Calgary in 2013 and that deluged Burlington just days ago. Environment Canada’s senior climatologist David Phillips warns that governments need to plan for a lot more of these wild weather events.
“These [once in] 50-year floods are occurring every 10 years, because our climate has changed,” he said.
Phillips added that planning for weather based on the past 100 years “masks” recent events that have dramatically changed how much rain falls. He said in the aftermath of the Toronto floods of August 2013, a look into the (Read more…)
It is refreshing to see that, unlike in Canada where government scientists cannot speak about climate change, American government employees are not afraid to draw some harsh correlations between it and environmental destruction.
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The Delaware City Refining Company doesn’t just refine oil, it refines bitumen from the Tar Sands. The company, however, is intensely aware of the dangers of climate change, so much so in fact that it’s seeking tax dollars to protect its refinery from “tidal encroachment” – another way of saying sea level rise.
The Delaware City Refinery is one of the first refineries to shift its crude oil supply to rail and is refining tar sands — one of the most carbon-intensive fuels known to man.
To add insult to injury, the sea level rise preparations the Delaware City Refining (Read more…)
You know when you’ve eaten something dodgy and you get that rumbling in your guts that tells you this is no time to go too far from the throne? Well, that’s sort of what may be going on in the Arctic right now. There’s a definite rumbling across the far North that portends potentially explosive outcomes in the near future. From Scientific American
It’s not just craters purportedly dug by aliens in Russia, it’s also megaslumps, ice that burns and drunken trees. The ongoing meltdown of the permanently frozen ground that covers nearly a quarter of land in the Northern (Read more…)
Canadians deserve more honesty than Prime Minister Harper is willing to give them.
He’s too busy defending Big Oil to tackle climate change, or even tell the truth about it.
And that’s what has Dr. Jaccard — and many other Canadian scientists — so upset.
Read his whole essay here
Water shortages are a serious concern in the Cowichan Valley with record low levels in the Cowichan River threatening salmon survival. Water use regulations restricting use have been kicked into place throughout the valley as we pray for rain.
Yes, it is a challenge and one that promises to become the norm as hotter, drier summers seem to be our new reality. ‘Climate Change’ is delivering altered weather patterns.
So far it seems that we have lucked out compared to the prairies and even Ontario where they have been beleaguered with floods and storms uncommon for what (Read more…)
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