Fear and Loathing, Irony and Deception

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 12:11 AM GMT on January 10, 2017

Fear and Loathing, Irony and Deception

Surely, some will think that I will sound like an apologist in this blog. Oh, well.

Several colleagues have told me that my last blog / editorial was a struggle to find optimism. After finishing that blog, I had no sense of optimism. (I expect an updated version of the editorial will be published in the February print edition of EOS.)

A common emotion among my climate friends is a feeling of loss, much like the death of someone close. I feel threat to my livelihood, my health insurance, and my retirement. I feel threat to the practice science and the use of science-based knowledge. I feel threat to the country – to the stubborn checks and balances built into our government to support a participatory democracy.

However, we have what we have.

During the presidential transition, a number of statements hostile to climate science and climate scientists have risen and, perhaps, fallen. There was the request for names of climate scientists in the Department of Energy. There were the statements about NASA’s Earth observations being cut or eliminated – some sort of merger with NOAA, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. There is the ongoing anxiety, in some cases panic, about the collection, management, and provision of climate data by the U.S. government. There are the many concerns about the future of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Climate change is a political issue. It may be motivated and informed by scientific investigation, but it is a political issue. It is a political issue that is intertwined with energy policy. By extension, it is intertwined with the economy. Climate change is entangled with beliefs, self-identification, and power structures.

The responses to the Trump election by the climate community are not monolithic or simple. The responses that seem to dominate in public are panic and simplistic, speculative fear. These responses play into the political strategy of those who dismiss or oppose climate change as an important environmental and societal issue. Panic and fear-based speculation about the damage that will be wrought by hostile actors increase the likelihood that those fears will come true. I believe that is the classic definition of irony. A response that limits itself to outrage at political appointees, and in some cases, dismissal of those appointees as laughable, uninformed individuals, virtually assures the success of those appointees in their new jobs.

A point of my previous editorial was that there is opportunity in what, on the surface, appears as an absolute disaster for climate policy, climate science, and climate professionals. To take advantage of those opportunities requires leadership, organization, presence, and recognition that there are points of negotiation and possibility.

I have been called by colleagues and journalists to get my comments on, for example, the efforts by some scientists and activists to archive and preserve climate data. Whenever I get a call on a subject like this, it seems that they want an answer that either substantiates or amplifies the narrative of war and peace, good and bad, evil and virtue. Usually, however, I find such amplification to be less than useful and, sincerely, not justified. Often my comments end up on the cutting room floor.

When I am asked about Rick Perry, the nominee for Energy Secretary, having said that he wants to shut down the Department of Energy or, more generally, about Trump’s transition team’s hostility towards the EPA, my first response is that there is precedence. This is not new. Spencer Abraham was an Energy Secretary who rather famously, as an elected politician, wanted to eliminate the Department.

The same is true with NASA. Through most of my career at NASA, there were some politicians who wanted to eliminate the Earth observing parts of NASA. There were budget markups with potentially devastating consequences. There were proposals to combine NASA, NOAA, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Some of these proposals made sense. At the same time, they could be construed as an analogue to corporate mergers, which are used as an opportunity to eliminate those functions and those people that are unwanted by the corporate leaders. The contrast between sensible reforms and existential threat is a frequent characteristic of political back and forth.

We are a country often based on conflicting points of views, presented with prejudice, and resolved with some sort of balance of the points of view or adjudication. We do not rely, primarily, on evidence-based, deliberative, decision making.

We do, in fact, have some models of what we might expect to happen. Several states, North Carolina, Texas, and Florida, have tried to suppress and control the language of climate change. Most recently there is the example of Wisconsin (link1, link2, link3). As carefully documented with before and after examples of the words, the human influence on climate change was purged from the web pages of the Department of Natural Resources. Our changing climate is framed as a child, going through a mysterious change. Rather than having an evidence-based foundation for rational planning, we leave climate change to Providence and a response based on reaction and whim. By leaving the causes of climate change out of the language, they are left out of public policy, and there is an unnecessary increase in risk.

This sort of political messaging, which I always view as a sin of omission or information hiding, is deceptive. It is, however, standard behavior in politics and business. In fact, in Wisconsin it is not new. In 2015, I wrote a blog on Wisconsin’s Board of Commissioners of Public Lands not allowing its employees to discuss how climate change affects the lands that it oversees. (A collection of Wisconsin articles.)

This type of message management should be expected as a tactic. Indeed, if I were in the government, I could think of a host of ways to disrupt the federal provision and interpretation of climate data. There are easy ways to take down servers. I expect that much of the excellent analysis placed in the public domain during the Obama administration to sink far below the surface. I expect the hard-earned improvements of climate services to stagnate.

I do not think that observational data will be destroyed; I suspect that would break the law, and presently, I think that we will remain a country of law.

I expect that there will be attempts to weaken many environmental laws. I worry that participation in the panic and fear-based speculation will divert attention from the important issues.

I worry that exaggeration and amplification of anxiety in social media will fuel ineffective fury.

Though I pointed out examples, above, of similar attacks on climate science in the past, I do not mean to suggest, hence, all will be all right. We are in the situation when the executive vigor and legislative wherewithal are in position to do considerable damage. There is the ability to appoint and confirm judges sympathetic to environmental regulation as damaging to business and economic growth. However, there is also the fact that President-elect Trump has proved to be difficult to characterize, resistant to traditional partisan classification, and prone to swift changes of position. Hence, there should be moments of opportunity, which requires leadership, organization, presence, and recognition that there are points of negotiation and possibility.

However, we have what we have. Climate change is a political issue, and it is a political issue that will require political tactics until it is settled policy on a foundation of the settled science.

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74. BaltimoreBrian
4:51 AM GMT on January 19, 2017
I thought of it when composing a comment for my blog (which I didn't post) and wrote "...climatologists in a quandary over new administration's policies...", and I thought. A group of climatologists in a quandary? Shouldn't a group of climatologists be a quandary :) Own it!
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 16310
73. Dr. Ricky Rood , Professor
3:38 AM GMT on January 19, 2017
I like that.

Quoting 70. BaltimoreBrian:

Collective nouns can be interesting

A flock of sheep
A school of fish
A murder of crows

However, there's no collective noun for meteorologists as far as I know. I believe that the collective noun for a group of climatologists should be 'quandary'. As in "a quandary of climatologists signed a letter opposing the president's new energy policy...". What say you?
Member Since: January 31, 2007 Posts: 377 Comments: 397
71. JohnLonergan
12:40 AM GMT on January 19, 2017
In his most recent post, Tamino removes the the influence of el Niño, volcanic eruptions, and solar variations from the three major surface temperature datasets( NASA, NOAA, and HadCRUT4) .Below are the charts for NOAA:

Unadjusted NOAA data:



Adjusted NOAA data:



Read the rest here
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4640
70. BaltimoreBrian
12:10 AM GMT on January 19, 2017
Collective nouns can be interesting

A flock of sheep
A school of fish
A murder of crows

However, there's no collective noun for climatologists as far as I know. I believe that the collective noun for a group of climatologists should be 'quandary'. As in "a quandary of climatologists signed a letter opposing the president's new energy policy...". What say you?
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 16310
69. Xandra
10:15 PM GMT on January 18, 2017
Quoting 53. Xandra:

Simon Donner:
‏@simondonner

Too much competition I assume

BREAKING: APNewsBreak: Ringling Bros. circus says it is closing down 'The Greatest Show on Earth,' following a 146-year run.


Michael E. Mann:
‏@MichaelEMann Michael E. Mann

Yes--you can now watch a clown show for free 24/7, any U.S. cable news network...
RT @simondonner


Member Since: November 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2332
68. BaltimoreBrian
4:47 AM GMT on January 18, 2017
Obama administration cuts second $500M check to Green Climate Fund
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 16310
67. Some1Has2BtheRookie
8:52 PM GMT on January 17, 2017
World needs to invest $25 trillion in new oil capacity over next 25 years, Saudi Aramco's CEO says

"Speaking Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Amin Nasser told a Wall Street Journal panel that $25 trillion would need to be invested over the 25 years on new oil capacity to meet rising demand. He added that renewable energy will gain a market share over the long term but it would not be dominant."

Really? Were we to suggest that we should invest 1 trillion dollars, 1/25 of what Nasser is asking for, on renewable energy sources over the next 25 years the fossil fuel industries' apologists would claim that this would destroy the world economy. Imagine where we could be in 25 years if the world invested 25 trillion dollars towards renewable energy sources during that time.

""It will take decades for [renewables] to replace petroleum resources. So what we are doing in Saudi Aramco, we are building our capacity in the oil," he said"

News flash for you, Mr. Nasser. 25 years for further oil investments to meet rising energy demands IS decades.

Moral of the story:
Fossil fuels are a finite source for meeting our energy needs. Should we not have a well established renewable energy source in place long before fossil fuels become depleted then the costs will be much higher than 25 trillion dollars over the following 25 years. Fossil fuels will become too expensive to use long before they become depleted. That old "supply and demand" price adjustment thingy will still be a thing then.
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66. JohnLonergan
12:38 PM GMT on January 17, 2017
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4640
65. BaltimoreBrian
3:58 AM GMT on January 17, 2017
Concerns over first snow and common leopards found in same area (with video)
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 16310
63. BaltimoreBrian
12:27 AM GMT on January 17, 2017
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 16310
62. 999Ai2016
8:24 PM GMT on January 16, 2017
Jennifer Francis - A New Arctic Feedback (December 2016):
Youtube video link

The Smoking Gun of Arctic Warmth Leads To A Stunning Indictment
AGU Blogosphere - December 2016.
Member Since: December 10, 2015 Posts: 5 Comments: 1534
61. CaneFreeCR
5:41 PM GMT on January 16, 2017
Quoting 60. BaltimoreBrian:
(snip)*** With a Major Oil Discovery, Guyana Is Poised to Become a Top Producer
Brian, I think that last headline should have been slightly different: "With a Major Oil Discovery, Guyana Is Poised to Become a Top Polluter" :-) (I know you didn't write it)
Member Since: August 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 877
59. BaltimoreBrian
4:29 AM GMT on January 16, 2017
Dr. Rood, thank you for the information on the Hieronymus Bosch documentary. I'll be viewing it soon!
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 16310
58. Daisyworld
1:49 AM GMT on January 16, 2017
Antarctic Science Lab On the Move to Escape Breaking Ice

Tom Metcalfe | Live Science | January 10, 2017

A British scientific base in Antarctica is on the move to a new location, to avoid being cut adrift by a crack in a floating ice shelf.

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) announced on New Year's Eve that the first module of the Halley VI Research Station was towed by tractors to a new site on the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica's Weddell Sea, 14 miles (23 kilometers) east of its former location.

The remaining seven main buildings of the modular research base will be towed to the new site over the coming weeks, as the relocation team takes advantage of the 24 hours of daylight during the brief Antarctic summer. [See Photos of the Antarctic Research Base Being Moved]

"It's been a very positive couple of days for the team," BAS officials posted on the organization's Facebook page on Dec. 31. "Last night they managed to successfully tow the first of the eight Halley modules to the new site at Halley 6a."


A growing chasm in the ice southeast of the base threatens to cut the Halley VI base off from the main ice shelf. (Credit: British Antarctic Survey)

The modern Halley base is the sixth British research station of that name built on the floating Brunt Ice Shelf since 1956. Each of its main modules is equipped with hydraulic legs and skis, but this is the first time they have been moved since the new base became operational in 2012.

The Brunt Ice Shelf is typically around 490 feet (150 meters) thick. But scientists have learned that a long-dormant chasm in the ice southeast of the base is now growing by more than 1 mile (1.7 kilometers) each year, and threatens to eventually cut the base off from the inland section of the ice shelf.

Surveys of the ice shelf have located a new site for the base, inland of the chasm, and preparations to move the base buildings began last year, according to the BAS.

Now that the relocation of the Halley base is underway, BAS staff have only a few weeks left of polar summer to complete the move.

"Each summer season is very short — about nine weeks," BAS operations director Tim Stockings said in a statement. "And because the ice and the weather are unpredictable, we have to be flexible in our approach."

"We are especially keen to minimize the disruption to the science programs. We have planned the move in stages — the science infrastructure that captures environmental data will remain in place while the station's modules move," Stockings said.

The BAS hopes to have the Halley VI base fully operational at the new site by the 2017/2018 Antarctic summer, when the environmental programs will also be relocated.

BAS communications manager Athena Dinar said it would take up to 15 hours for specialized tractors to tow each of the eight Halley modules over the 14 miles (23 kilometers) to the new site. "It will be taken very slowly as the [operational] modules have not been towed before," she told Live Science.

The eight main Halley modules provide accommodation and research facilities for around 60 British scientists and support staff during the Antarctic summer months, Dinar said. Over the winter months, a few staff members keep the base operational and the experiments running.

Watching the skies

Britain's Halley base has played an important role in studies of the Earth's atmosphere. Weather and atmospheric data, including measurements of ozone in the Earth's upper atmosphere, have been collected since the first base, Halley I, was established in 1956, according to the BAS.

In 1985, scientists at Halley VI discovered Antarctica's "ozone hole" — a region of ozone-depleted air in the upper atmosphere over the continent that worsens during the south-polar spring.

Subsequent research linked the Antarctic ozone hole to the accumulation in the Earth’s upper atmosphere of chlorine-based chemicals, such as the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) once used as refrigerants and in aerosol cans. The discovery led to the development of the Montreal Protocol, a global effort adopted in 1987 to eliminate the use of CFCs and other ozone-depleting chemicals.

As well as continuing measurements of the ozone layer and other physical processes in the atmosphere, current research programs at Halley VI include taking advantage of the base's location near the South Pole to monitor interactions between the solar wind and the Earth's magnetic fields, which can trigger frequent displays of the aurora australis, or southern lights.
Member Since: January 11, 2012 Posts: 8 Comments: 982
57. Xandra
12:33 AM GMT on January 16, 2017
Member Since: November 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2332
56. BaltimoreBrian
11:01 PM GMT on January 15, 2017
Quoting 55. LowerCal:

I improved the link.
Thank you :) I'm improving it in the comment as well.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 16310
55. LowerCal
9:03 PM GMT on January 15, 2017
Quoting 29. BaltimoreBrian:

How a moon slows the decay of Pluto's atmosphere
I improved the link.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 10350
54. LowerCal
8:53 PM GMT on January 15, 2017
Find the "Why?" here:

Quoting 25. 999Ai2016:

Trump, Putin and the Pipelines to Nowhere
Medium.com - December 2016.
.... we have no real choice but to act — and, in fact, climate action will make most people not only safer, but better off — big changes are coming, far sooner than most Americans understand.

But some people totally understand: the ones who stand to lose money from these changes.

....
Outstanding link, 999!
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 10350
53. Xandra
12:42 PM GMT on January 15, 2017
Simon Donner:
‏@simondonner

Too much competition I assume

BREAKING: APNewsBreak: Ringling Bros. circus says it is closing down 'The Greatest Show on Earth,' following a 146-year run.


Michael E. Mann:
‏@MichaelEMann Michael E. Mann

Yes--you can now watch a clown show for free 24/7, any U.S. cable news network...
RT @simondonner
Member Since: November 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2332
52. Dr. Ricky Rood , Professor
12:20 AM GMT on January 15, 2017
Here is IMDB ... on Amazon, Vimeo

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5337758/

I am surprised by how bad the reviews are. Some called it boring! I found it fascinating in all of its themes.


Quoting 39. BaltimoreBrian:

Dr. Rood, I did not see the recent documentary on Bosch--if the one you're thinking of is online somewhere I'd love you to post the link--on my blog if you like. I remember him from a sophomore art appreciation course. And if you visit my blog you'll see I've gone medieval lately. There are some other close-up details from his works that I decided not to post because they could be "too much".
Member Since: January 31, 2007 Posts: 377 Comments: 397
51. Xandra
12:16 AM GMT on January 15, 2017
Quoting Michael Moore:

"5. Trump has nominated in Rex Tillerson the most powerful corporate CEO in the world as "our" Secretary of State. Why would the quarter-billionaire head of the world's richest corporation want a "government job?" So that he, a personal friend of Putin's, can get the US sanctions lifted off Russia so that his company, ExxonMobil, can get back to their exclusive oil deal with Russia -- which will eventually net ExxonMobil three TRILLION dollars. This is nothing less than a bold, audacious robbery in broad daylight -- and it says a lot about you and me that they think they can get away with it."
Member Since: November 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2332
50. Daisyworld
10:11 PM GMT on January 14, 2017
Meanwhile, outside the bubble...



Source: NOAA National Centers for Environmental information, Climate at a Glance: Global Time Series, published December 2016, retrieved on January 14, 2017 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/<
Member Since: January 11, 2012 Posts: 8 Comments: 982
49. iceagecoming
4:35 PM GMT on January 14, 2017
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38607862

Again and again, all these items reference below normal temps, and no drought, and lots of snow, all contrary to the warmist religious belief AGW, Welcome to reality, but then like the last administration, living in a bubble has that effect, and fake news.

Tata mates.
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 26 Comments: 1176
48. Some1Has2BtheRookie
8:52 PM GMT on January 13, 2017
Global climate update:
ATTENTION!

As of January 13, 2017, iceagecoming's discovery is that winters do indeed still exist on our planet. This discovery leads us to believe that the global warming hoax/scare/fear mongering that is being propagated by the commie/pinko/leftist/socialist that want to take over the world just to tax us in to oblivion is, in fact, include preferred denier psuedo-science talking point here. Yes. It does appear that glaciers are advancing towards the equator at an alarming rate. Fear not those of you that feel the shivers that course their way through your freezing bodies as you read this. Iceagecoming is offering to us our salvation from such a dreadful end! He is starting a new clothing line!


note - hand mittens and scarfs are optional wear. Those being most threatened by the advancing glaciers should opt for both. Just saying.

Added:
Iceagecoming is starting a petition to end winters on our planet. You can sign this petition here - http://www.iceagecoming.too.hot.to.care.nul

Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5345
47. iceagecoming
7:05 PM GMT on January 13, 2017
A block of ice containing a drowned fox who broke through the thin ice of the Danube river four days earlier sits on the bank of the Danube river in Fridingen, southern Germany, Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. (Johannes Stehle/dpa via AP)

http://ww4.hdnux.com/photos/56/36/36/12183479/3/9 20x920.jpg




Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 26 Comments: 1176
46. iceagecoming
6:53 PM GMT on January 13, 2017


image for comment 44
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 26 Comments: 1176
45. iceagecoming
6:51 PM GMT on January 13, 2017
https://www.wunderground.com/news/alaska-frigid-bel ow-zero-temperatures-january-2017

Here we go, something on the horizon, could it be 40 below, don't know!

every time they forecast 5 above, it ends up at 7 below, odd how that works. (not)
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 26 Comments: 1176
44. iceagecoming
6:43 PM GMT on January 13, 2017
Warming update!
European deep freeze.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/eu rope-refugees-freeze-to-death-hypothermia-bulgaria -athens-cold-weather-serbia-sleeping-rough-a752010 6.html

Link





Link
Refugees freezing to death across Europe after 'continued failure' on crisis leaves thousands at risk
Two Iraqi men were found dead after walking for 48 hours through heavy snow

Lizzie Dearden, Niamh McIntyre @lizziedearden Wednesday 11 January 2017






CHICAGO (CBS) — Trains were running on a limited basis Thursday after weather was blamed for shutting down the South Shore Line.

Ice on overhead electric lines stopped several trains literally in their tracks.

Riders trying to get into the city found themselves sitting on trains for six or seven hours. Eventually, a decision was made to return them to their originating stations. And even then it was taking hours to get them back to where they started.



Link


News | Environment | Local
Portland Area Hit With Historic Snowfall Tuesday Night, More On The Way
by Bryan M. Vance Follow , Dave Blanchard Follow , and Conrad Wilson

Link


And the list goes on. and on, and on,,,,,,,
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 26 Comments: 1176
43. Patrap
2:48 PM GMT on January 13, 2017
Deep Dish Derp on a Friday.

Complete gish gallop of nothing.

For a first post, you could have drawn a clown maybe?

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 456 Comments: 145045
42. Dauber303
12:15 PM GMT on January 13, 2017
We can agree on your analysis of potential tactics, even if we don't agree necessarily on all of the data.
The other thing you could add to your list of effective tactics is persistence. What is presented should be consistent, what is given as accompanying verbage should always be consistent. And the point of view of science could be more consistent. Persistence is the quality you and your fellow scientists are missing. Build it from consistency.

The other thimng I would point out, is the media campaigns and social media shrieking is not productive. I ignore the FB screms and take the media with a very large grain of salt. Make your messsage more consumable.
Member Since: January 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
41. BaltimoreBrian
11:32 PM GMT on January 12, 2017
*** Scientists Map Vast Peat Swamps, a Storehouse of Carbon, in Central Africa
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 16310
40. BaltimoreBrian
11:28 PM GMT on January 12, 2017
Quoting 38. CaneFreeCR:

Re: Comment 34 - Bappit

President Trump will tweet you right! Making America grate again! W didn't do enough.
Trump tweeting as foretold in the complete chronicles of Jean Froissart (1337-1405), in the Froissart of Louis of Gruuthuse edition from the 1470s:

Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 16310
39. BaltimoreBrian
11:11 PM GMT on January 12, 2017
Dr. Rood, I did not see the recent documentary on Bosch--if the one you're thinking of is online somewhere I'd love you to post the link--on my blog if you like. I remember him from a sophomore art appreciation course. And if you visit my blog you'll see I've gone medieval lately. There are some other close-up details from his works that I decided not to post because they could be "too much".
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 16310
38. CaneFreeCR
8:31 PM GMT on January 11, 2017
Re: Comment 34 - Bappit

President Trump will tweet you right! Making America grate again! W didn't do enough.
Member Since: August 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 877
37. Dr. Ricky Rood , Professor
8:07 PM GMT on January 11, 2017
Have you seen the recent documentary on Bosch? I thought it excellent.

Quoting 28. BaltimoreBrian:

How climate change denier brains became that way, detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch.


Member Since: January 31, 2007 Posts: 377 Comments: 397
36. HotToddy62
7:33 PM GMT on January 11, 2017
comment 34. bappit
You should win the Internet today for that comment.
+ 1,000
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35. Patrap
7:00 PM GMT on January 11, 2017
All the risks of climate change, in a single graph
There are a lot of them.


Updated by David Roberts@drvoxdavid@vox.com Jan 9, 2017, 8:40am EST

The risks of climate change are not easy to communicate clearly. Since the atmosphere affects everything, everything will be affected by its warming — there’s no single risk, but a wide and varied array of risks, of different severities and scales, affecting different systems, unfolding on different timelines. It’s difficult to convey to a layperson, at least without droning on and on.

One of the better-known and more controversial attempts to address this problem is a graphic from the reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The so-called “burning embers” graph attempts to render the various risks of climate change — “reasons for concern,” or RFCs — in an easy-to-grasp visual form.

In a new paper in the journal Nature Climate Change, a group of 17 scholars examines the RFC conceptual framework and reviews the latest science. (Because IPCC reports take so long to produce, the science they contain is always a few years behind.)

Long story short, they find that the graphic is generally accurate (though it has key limitations). They offer suggestions for how the RFC framework could be extended in the future to “better account for possible changes in social and ecological system vulnerability.”

I won’t get into the details — I just want to have a look at their new and improved burning-embers graph, which is up at the top of this post.

As you can see, there is a ton of information about the risks of climate change crammed in there, so it’s worth unpacking a bit. It offers a remarkably coherent overview of the various risks that lie ahead this century.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 456 Comments: 145045
34. bappit
6:40 PM GMT on January 11, 2017
From Dr. Rood: "there is also the fact that President-elect Trump has proved to be difficult to characterize".

Yes and no.

For people familiar with the psychological phenomenon, Trump is quite easily characterized as a narcissist. I think it is fair to describe his narcissism as a personality disorder. Having been born into a rich family willing to protect him out of loyalty and having the means to hire people willing to protect him for financial gain, he manages with a personality that would cause other people significant hardships. As a deeply narcissistic person, he is profoundly insecure and at the same time aggressively grandiose. He has no specific agenda other than his own ego. His nationalism and simultaneous admiration of dictators and strong men exists because he experiences pride in the nation as pride in himself and, similarly, fealty demanded by dictators as fealty that he himself deserves.

For people unable to see what is plainly there and take it at face value, Trump is a conundrum. Traditional political categories largely do not apply to someone as deeply disturbed as he is. Trump capitalizes on this confusion. Perhaps, either:

a) People everywhere have their own narcissistic tendencies. Members of the educated populace take pride in the knowledge and skills they have acquired and want to apply them to Trump. Their analyses are always flawed and open to criticism.

b) People everywhere have, each of them, a set of favorite narratives that they use to give structure to the world. In spite of conflicting evidence, they will persist with those narratives. and try to fit Trump into them, but Trump is an outlier who does not fit the common narratives.

Trump for his part is happy with the resulting confusion. He even makes conflicting statements that encourage it. The combination of his own and other people's actions makes it harder for people to see Trump as he really is. Meanwhile, for the uneducated populace, he succeeds as a demagogue, but demagoguery is nothing that unusual. Viewing Trump as merely a demagogue actually normalizes him. In fact, he is quite abnormal. For whatever reason, people do not admit what is obvious.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 19 Comments: 7164
33. JohnLonergan
1:45 PM GMT on January 11, 2017
New from Tamino:

Global Warming’s Record Year

It is widely publicized that 2016 will certainly break the record for yearly average global temperature. Again. This will be the third year in a row we’ve set a new record. It’s time we paid attention.

I’ve often emphasized that just because Earth shows an indisputable warming trend, that doesn’t mean every year will be hotter than the one before. In addition to trend, there is also a lot of fluctuation in things like global temperature. So we shouldn’t expect each year to break the temperature record.

But we did in 2014. We did again in 2015, by a substantial margin. We did again in 2016, by a substantial margin. The third year in a row of record-breaking global temperature will probably get the most attention, but it may not be the most important or most worrisome record set last year.


More ...
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32. Barefootontherocks
1:20 PM GMT on January 11, 2017
Quoting 26. cynyc2:

Barefoot, you seem to be saying, in a roundabout way, that if attempt to do anything about AGW, we will destroy society. We are attempting to say, that if we do nothing, we will destroy society - except the costs will be even higher. Forgive me please if I misunderstand you.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and all that.

"and maybe if they'd take a look at the sky, see birds fly, smell flowers, watch snow sparkle, spend a moment or three with pure nature," That is the kicker. When we go to smell the flower, we find that it bloomed 2 weeks early and is now gone...
No. Nothing roundabout. Straight. I am saying economics is foremost in most human's minds, rich or poor, and the economic effects of solutions must be considered for all societies on this globe when making the solutions. How's that? For years I said you are dealing with humans, present the GW message with that in mind. Also stress solutions not politics.

As far as smelling roses, etc: The disappointment the election caused, as evidenced in comments in this blog and elsewhere on this forum, has brought comments expressing (more than the usual) anger, fear and despair from some posters at this forum. Nature feeds the soul. Anger, fear and despair destroy it. I'm saying, take a break. Feed your soul. The flowers are still blooming.

(edited for typos, clarity)
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 22370
31. Daisyworld
6:17 AM GMT on January 11, 2017
Quoting 14. weatherhistorian:

There was a film produced in 2006 called 'Idocracy'. See to learn more.. Sadly, this satire is now becoming reality. Not just in the U.S. but worldwide.


On the bright side, current-day average people like us will become quite exceptional in the near future....





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Member Since: January 11, 2012 Posts: 8 Comments: 982
30. BaltimoreBrian
5:07 AM GMT on January 11, 2017
Development of geopolitically relevant ranking criteria for geoengineering methods
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 16310
28. BaltimoreBrian
4:36 AM GMT on January 11, 2017
How climate change denier brains became that way, detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch.

Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 16310
27. BaltimoreBrian
3:49 AM GMT on January 11, 2017
Worlds in water droplets or bloggers in bubbles? Dartmoor, England, January 10, 2017. Embiggenable

Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 16310
26. cynyc2
10:13 PM GMT on January 10, 2017
Barefoot, you seem to be saying, in a roundabout way, that if attempt to do anything about AGW, we will destroy society. We are attempting to say, that if we do nothing, we will destroy society - except the costs will be even higher. Forgive me please if I misunderstand you.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and all that.

"and maybe if they'd take a look at the sky, see birds fly, smell flowers, watch snow sparkle, spend a moment or three with pure nature," That is the kicker. When we go to smell the flower, we find that it bloomed 2 weeks early and is now gone...
Member Since: May 24, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 137
25. 999Ai2016
8:19 PM GMT on January 10, 2017
Trump, Putin and the Pipelines to Nowhere
Medium.com - December 2016.


What did ExxonMobil know, and when did it know it?
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists - December 2016.

The Rockefeller Family Fund vs. Exxon (part 1)
The Rockefeller Family Fund vs. Exxon (part 2)

The New York Review of Books - December 2016.
Member Since: December 10, 2015 Posts: 5 Comments: 1534
24. Barefootontherocks
8:14 PM GMT on January 10, 2017
Hi Rookie,
Yes I do. My grandmother gave me a great education in fables. Fables teach us lessons. Bet you'd be hard put to find a fable I have not read. Some of my favorites come from India.

As regards the ant: The ant (Oops. Lol) grasshopper was lazy. When humans struggle for basic needs in the now, they have trouble seeing a future. Though there are many struggling for basic needs here, I don't mean just U.S. humans. I think of Nigeria with which I have some real experience more than acquaintance... Industrialization in India... World population growth. (No. I am not trying to change the subject.)

The tradition of the U.S. has been to use and destroy. Not just the Earth but the people and creatures upon it. You make points that, if you knew me better, you'd know I agree, especially those about the "spoiled American" you present. Maybe just my age showing, as youngsters would have no idea what you're talking about because they grew up with electronic communication and you and I remember the Sputnik launch. I do anyway. I accepted the need to be "green" (which term I hate because now it's a symbol for political polarization) when I was a young child learning to brush my teeth and my Dad told me not to leave the water running because it wastes water. I need no lecture about conservation. I grew up respecting nature and I will respect Earth and its creatures to the day I die. And beyond, whatever that is.

I wrote a script once about a guy who was in love and couldn't stop drinking to save the relationship. Cross between The Days of Wine and Roses and a RomCom in a fun setting. Things looked bleak toward the end, but I wrote hope into the ending anyway. One line I like from the final scene in that script is, "Why is the insane question." When I find myself asking "why" for any reason, I back off and think, and I realize sometimes things are just what they are and there is no understanding the person, event, idea or whatever caused the "why" question.

"we seem to think that our future generations have no rights to what we enjoy now. Even if we see our life as a struggle now this does not give us the right to make the existence for our future generations an even greater struggle for them... We are doing the same thing with fossil fuels as we are doing with plastics and our common litter. We, for some reason, seem to lack the ability to recognize this as a threat to us now. Why is this?"

In the case of this question, pretty sure I answered the "why" before you asked. Human needs. Human nature. I will say further maybe asking "why" is where fear tries to take some people off-kilter and maybe if they'd take a look at the sky, see birds fly, smell flowers, watch snow sparkle, spend a moment or three with pure nature, they'd recharge an awareness of the good out there, and the progress - though slow - that is being made.

The fear I hold these days is political polarization in this country becoming worse than it was during Vietnam. That is my "why" for my being able to give Donald Trump a chance. His life is that of a maverick more than a politician. I want to see which way he goes. The positive thing I see about his political appointees is they know their business from the inside out, and if revisions are to be made, will know exactly where and how to make them. We'll see what direction he asks his cabinet and advisors to go. Maybe that's naive. Right now it works, for me anyway. Works better than believing media that has largely forgotten what journalism is. (Wall Street Journal excepted.) The alternative is what? Revolution? I believe our way of governing this country will take us everywhere we need to go when changes need to be made. It always has.

(edit: typos)
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 22370

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