Salience: On the Eve of the 2016 Election

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 5:10 AM GMT on November 05, 2016

Salience: On the Eve of the 2016 Election

A different version of this blog appears on ClimatePolicy.org

Salience is a word that in the social sciences has come to mean relevance, or perhaps, goodness of fit of knowledge to a particular problem. I use salience, probably overuse it, in class when I talk about making climate-change data relevant to planning and decision making. In conversational English, salience refers to something being important or most notable.

On my list of to-do blogs was a reflection and analysis of climate-change policy during the Obama administration, and then a discussion of the climate-change positions of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. However, the way the election has evolved, climate change and environmental policy do not appear to be very salient to choices at hand. There is certainly no meaningful nuance of policy and positions from any analysis I might provide.

About a year ago, I was writing about some of our students at University of Michigan preparing to go to the Conference of the Parties in Paris. Even at that time, I commented about our behavior seeming to be a concerted effort to accelerate our decline into the Dark Age. That particular comment was motivated by the accumulated impacts of the anti-science movement. More broadly, however, there is an anti-knowledge movement in the U.S., which is dangerous. Science-based knowledge and knowledge in general has become conflated with political and cultural groups of people. It has become tribal knowledge. Knowledge that is, therefore, untrusted.

During the decade I have been writing blogs, I have taken a number of road trips across the Plains. I have noted a number of times how the world I live in day to day is irrelevant to what I experience on these trips. My world is full of people talking about the importance of their research, the importance of climate change, science, policy, politics, communication, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Daily Show. My world is caught up in self-importance, knowing, and the seeing the future and what needs to be done.

At times, I have said that what goes on in Washington seems completely disconnected from the reality in the center of the country – not salient. However, that is not case. Driving across the country shows the impacts of energy policy. There are great fields of wind turbines, huge piles of corn at ethanol plants, and flaring oil wells. Of course, our agricultural policy makes the enormous farms and ranches possible. There was a time when the flirtation with a carbon market was labeling grasslands as carbon management. For the most part, energy policy might make sense; climate policy does not. For those who are haves, climate policy seems a financial threat for, yet another, manageable weather risk. For those who are have nots, climate policy is simply not salient.

Climate policy is entangled with other values associated with its tribe. Knowledge is in a stew full of emotion, beliefs, self-identification, and cultural values.

The immediacy and urgency of the Presidential election have removed issues such as climate change from the public clamor, if not, in fact, as a decision point in the election. We have arrived at a point that the specifics of climate change, science policy, and environmental protection seem less of an issue than the preservation of our efforts to have policy and regulation anchored in describable, objective knowledge. Science-based knowledge, deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, and objective analysis are all viewed as tainted by the prejudices, interests, and manipulations of corrupt individuals and institutions. We devolve to cult of personality, exaggerated attacks of character, innuendo, fear, and corroborating fantasies posed as reports of facts and events.

After November 8, 2016, however, climate change, science policy, and environmental protection will be of essential importance to our economic wellbeing and societal success. As we move forward in a world of too many people, uneven resources, and unsustainable practices, knowledge-based decision making will be at the foundation of stability and security.

Many scientific organizations have compared Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s approach to science and science policy (see below). The interesting nuances of Democratic and Republican approaches to science since World War II are not present in these analyses. Ms Clinton’s approach is knowledge-based; Mr. Trump’s approach is whim-based and unpredictable. The choice has never been so definitive.

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For those still centered on climate and science:

ScienceDebate.org: Candidates Answer 2016 Questions

Scientific American: Grading the Presidential Candidates on Science

Scientific American: Trump Versus Clinton: Worlds Apart on Science

IFLScience: American Presidential Stances on Science Issues

National Geographic: Top Takeaways From Presidential Candidates’ Views on Science

University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR): Federal Transition 2017

Forbes: Marshall Shepherd: Weather And Climate Priorities Facing The Next US President


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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126. WunderAlertBot
3:47 AM GMT on December 02, 2016
RickyRood has created a new entry.
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124. RobertWC
1:25 AM GMT on December 01, 2016
Up in other worlds -

A word about the Scribblers, he like Neven, he runs a troll free site. He like Neven , goes dark every now and then , even more than Neven. And like Neven, his readers are some of the smartest most interesting people one will ever read.

If one cares about climate change . He's at it everyday hammer and thongs. And when I stumbled across him years ago , I gave up my own efforts to join him . Now he has world wide readership.
His threads are a deep insight being on the ground .

Why ? Because he throw's the trolls too.

The US free speech idea , ends at the government printing office, and the county courthouse. A blog on the web is a private space. I don't have to listen to the same endless gibberish , over and over, and over.

Or as I have come call them , "Right wing fur balls" .............. Thank-you for hacking up that right wing fur ball. From the same tiny incestuous pod of the old white men for a decade. Who believe that Jesus could have rode a dinosaur.

Neven , many have ended all this . His site was full of things I have never seen , his readers knew what they were doing. his site is a world treasure.
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123. Xulonn
12:53 AM GMT on December 01, 2016
Quoting 118. BaltimoreBrian:True, but whitelisting is a pain and I don't like having to log in to a site after every time I've closed a window. So I toss my cookies when I feel the need.
With the "Self Destruct Cookies" plug-in, you just click the cookie plugin icon in the toolbar and make your choice - the easiest and quickest white-listing and configuration method I've ever seen. You were talking about websites where you don't log in, and this plugin is fantastic for dealing with restrictions at such website's.
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122. RobertWC
11:41 PM GMT on November 30, 2016
With Temperatures Hitting 1.2 C Hotter than Pre-Industrial, Drought Now Spans the Globe

Jeff Goodell, an American author and editor at Rolling Stone, is noted for saying this: “once we deliberately start messing with the climate, we could inadvertantly shift rainfall patterns (climate models have shown that the Amazon is particularly vulnerable) causing collapse of ecosystems, drought, famine and more.”

We are in the process of testing that theory. In the case of drought, which used to just be a regional affair but has now gone global, Goodell appears to have been right on the money.


Link
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121. RobertWC
11:15 PM GMT on November 30, 2016
Quoting 120. RobertWC:

Neven @ Artic Sea Ice gets a well deserved profile piece on the Washington Post website…

Link


From the article:

Curlin is, in the end, a creature of our saddening climate times — in which we have unprecedented volumes of data and analysis available, for the expert and for the amateur alike, allowing us to watch at high resolution as the world burns. It’s fascinating, it’s all-consuming — and sometimes, it’s also devastating. You can be a good analyst, you can even help scientists themselves think about things in a new way — but then, sometimes you also have to stop and feel.
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120. RobertWC
11:13 PM GMT on November 30, 2016
Neven @ Artic Sea Ice gets a well deserved profile piece on the Washington Post website…

Link
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119. RobertWC
11:07 PM GMT on November 30, 2016
This needs to be spread far and wide :
On Giving Tuesday, Support Increasingly Embattled Climate Scientists
By: Jeff Masters


Climate science and climate scientists in the United States are likely to be under unprecedented assault by powerful politicians in the coming four years. Climate-change-denying politicians are already in high positions in Congress, and soon we will have a president who has publicly denied climate change science. On Giving Tuesday, November 29, I urge you to make a tax-deductible donation to the nonprofit Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) to help protect the crucial research of climate scientists from political interference.

Link
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118. BaltimoreBrian
3:16 AM GMT on November 30, 2016
True, but whitelisting is a pain and I don't like having to log in to a site after every time I've closed a window. So I toss my cookies when I feel the need.
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117. Xulonn
2:25 AM GMT on November 30, 2016
Quoting 116. BaltimoreBrian:
The Economist only allows non-subscribers to access one article. So allow me to share some old frat-boy wisdom. Once you've indulged, toss your cookies and you can indulge again!
Or use Firefox for Windows and the "Self Destruct Cookies" add-on. You can set it to automatically delete cookies on exiting any website.
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116. BaltimoreBrian
1:14 AM GMT on November 29, 2016
The Economist only allows non-subscribers to access one article. So allow me to share some old frat-boy wisdom. Once you've indulged, toss your cookies and you can indulge again!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
114. RobertWC
11:42 PM GMT on November 28, 2016
The Pine Island Glacier, which is believed to have been thinning for at least 70 years, is particularly vulnerable because it slopes downward inland, leading to the creation of “valleys” that lie below sea level.

“The really troubling thing is that there are many of these valleys further up-glacier. If they are actually sites of weakness that are prone to rifting, we could potentially see more accelerated ice loss in Antarctica,” Howat said. “This kind of rifting behavior provides another mechanism for rapid retreat of these glaciers, adding to the probability that we may see significant collapse of West Antarctica in our lifetimes.”


Link
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113. RobertWC
11:28 PM GMT on November 28, 2016
Did Föhn Winds Just Melt Two Miles of East Antarctic Surface Ice in One Day?

It’s right there in the satellite image. A swatch of blue that seems to indicate an approximate 2-mile long melt lake formed over the surface of East Antarctica in just one day. If confirmed, this event would be both odd and concerning. A part of the rising signal that melt stresses for the largest mass of land ice on the planet are rapidly increasing.

Link
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112. RobertWC
10:19 PM GMT on November 28, 2016
Accelerated ice shelf rifting and retreat at Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica
Authors
Seongsu Jeong,
Ian M. Howat,
Jeremy N. Bassis
First published: 28 November 2016

Abstract

Pine Island Glacier has undergone several major iceberg calving events over the past decades. These typically occurred when a rift at the heavily fractured shear margin propagated across the width of the ice shelf. This type of calving is common on polar ice shelves, with no clear connection to ocean-ice dynamic forcing. In contrast, we report on the recent development of multiple rifts initiating from basal crevasses in the center of the ice shelf, resulted in calving further upglacier than previously observed. Coincident with rift formation was the sudden disintegration of the ice mélange that filled the northern shear margin, resulting in ice sheet detachment from this margin. Examination of ice velocity suggests that this internal rifting resulted from the combination of a change in ice shelf stress regime caused by disintegration of the mélange and intensified melting within basal crevasses, both of which may be linked to ocean forcing.

Link
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111. RobertWC
10:12 PM GMT on November 28, 2016
The PIG is about to start voting –

Pine Island Glacier In West Antarctica Is Melting From Inside Out

A rift in Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, West Antarctica, photographed from the air during a NASA Operation IceBridge survey flight, Nov. 4, 2016. This rift is the second to form in the center of the ice shelf in the past three years. The first resulted in an iceberg that broke off in 2015. Photo: NASA/Nathan Kurtz

The rift formed at the very base of the ice shelf nearly 20 miles inland in a region where the ice had thinned compared to the surrounding ice shelf.


Link
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110. bappit
1:06 AM GMT on November 28, 2016
And it doesn't stop there, nor are you required to pic from her list. She retweets Tim Bell:
Concerned about #climate? Here's one incredibly simple thing you can do about it.

Spoiler: talk about it!
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109. bappit
1:04 AM GMT on November 28, 2016
Hayhoe: "5. Many TX oil patch workers lost their jobs due to gas boom-but solar picked them up!"
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
108. bappit
1:03 AM GMT on November 28, 2016
Hayhoe: "4. Little Georgetown TX is going all-renewable to save big money"
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
107. bappit
1:03 AM GMT on November 28, 2016
Hayhoe: "3. Fort Hood is saving $168M of taxpayer's money by going renewable"
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
106. bappit
1:02 AM GMT on November 28, 2016
Hayhoe: "2. is climate is a pro-life issue? @mitch_at_EEN says, yes it is"
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
105. bappit
1:02 AM GMT on November 28, 2016
Hayhoe: "1. @elonmusk's solar roofs. Cheaper than shingles, who wouldn't want one?!"
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
104. bappit
1:01 AM GMT on November 28, 2016
Katharine Hayhoe has tweeted a series of conversation starters, the obvious alternative to waiting for someone else to frame the conversation and control what you talk about.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
103. bappit
12:58 AM GMT on November 28, 2016
Katharine Hayhoe tweets:
How to talk climate 'round the table? Don't get sucked into science debate: it's just a smokescreen for the real obj'ns, to perceived sol'ns
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
102. ScottLincoln
12:52 AM GMT on November 28, 2016
Quoting 100. ILwthrfan:

So I am in a discussion with another individual that I frequently blog with and he throws the follow at me...


In the few of those that have actual, clear claims (other than the typical vague "it's a conspiracy," or "there is no proof" arguments) it is so easy to find clear, well-established evidence to the contrary. In those cases if these are actual quotes from actual scientists, then all I can say is that they are either venturing far outside of their areas of expertise or are otherwise just being flat out misleading.

There is really no reason to do a point-by-point rebuttal because each of these are tired, overused, and easy to clear up claims. I feel sorry for your acquaintance and the apparent lack of scientific literacy.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
101. Fieldofflowers
8:19 PM GMT on November 27, 2016
Here's how to silence a climate change denier:

1. Remind them it is pollution that we are concerned about. Pollution in the air, water and land.
2. examples of places where pollution has gone out of control and what health effects it is having on the people.
3. Bonus points if you can use some of their own conspiracy sites about radiation from Japan's nuclear meltdown, mercury in fish/crops/vegetables causing autism, lead in water/ soil causing ADHD, and direct that towards your point why this is important and why we must focus on cleaning the environment.

My guess, they will either silently agree or try to change their attack to something else. Easier to blame people like Al Gore, than to worry about little things like decline of bees to pollenate food crops. It is my suspicion that these people don't deny the human impacts of the environment, but rather deny that there is anything we can do to fix it. It is a rather defeatist attitude.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
100. ILwthrfan
5:10 PM GMT on November 27, 2016
So I am in a discussion with another individual that I frequently blog with and he throws the follow at me...

"CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another….Every scientist knows this, but it doesn't pay to say so…Global warming, as a political vehicle, keeps Europeans in the driver's seat and developing nations walking barefoot." - Dr. Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University in Japan.

"The [global warming] scaremongering has its justification in the fact that it is something that generates funds." - Award-winning Paleontologist Dr. Eduardo Tonni, of the Committee for Scientific Research in Buenos Aires and head of the Paleontology Department at the University of La Plata.

"Whatever the weather, it's not being caused by global warming. If anything, the climate may be starting into a cooling period." Atmospheric scientist Dr. Art V. Douglas, former Chair of the Atmospheric Sciences Department at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and is the author of numerous papers for peer-reviewed publications.

"Global warming has become a new religion." - Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.

"Many [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out quietly (from promoting warming fears), without having their professional careers ruined." -- Atmospheric physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.

"Creating an ideology pegged to carbon dioxide is a dangerous nonsense ... . The present alarm on climate change is an instrument of social control, a pretext for major businesses and political battle. It became an ideology, which is concerning." -- Environmental Scientist Professor Delgado Domingos of Portugal, the founder of the Numerical Weather Forecast group, has more than 150 published articles.

"Warming fears are the worst scientific scandal in history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists." - UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist

"Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly. The main basis of the claim that man's release of greenhouse gases is the cause of the warming is based almost entirely upon climate models. We all know the frailty of models concerning the air-surface system" - Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology, and formerly of NASA, who has authored more than 190 studies and has been called "among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years."

"The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesn't listen to others. It doesn't have open minds… I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists," - Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University and a board member of the UN-supported International Year of the Planet

"Real measurements give no ground for concern about a catastrophic future warming." - Scientist Dr. Jarl R. Ahlbeck, a chemical engineer at Abo Akademi University in Finland, author of 200 scientific publications and former Greenpeace member.

"Anyone who claims that the debate is over and the conclusions are firm has a fundamentally unscientific approach to one of the most momentous issues of our time." - Solar physicist Dr. Pal Brekke, senior advisor to the Norwegian Space Centre in Oslo. Brekke has published more than 40 peer-reviewed scientific articles on the sun and solar interaction with the Earth.

"It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don't buy into anthropogenic global warming." - U.S Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA.

"Even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will." – . Geoffrey G. Duffy, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering of the University of Auckland, NZ.

"After reading [UN IPCC chairman] Pachauri's asinine comment [comparing skeptics to] Flat Earthers, it's hard to remain quiet." - Climate statistician Dr. William M. Briggs, who specializes in the statistics of forecast evaluation, serves on the American Meteorological Society's Probability and Statistics Committee and is an Associate Editor of Monthly Weather Review.

"The Kyoto theorists have put the cart before the horse. It is global warming that triggers higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, not the other way round…A large number of critical documents submitted at the 1995 U.N. conference in Madrid vanished without a trace. As a result, the discussion was one-sided and heavily biased, and the U.N. declared global warming to be a scientific fact," Andrei Kapitsa, a Russian geographer and Antarctic ice core researcher.

"Nature's regulatory instrument is water vapor: more carbon dioxide leads to less moisture in the air, keeping the overall GHG content in accord with the necessary balance conditions." – Prominent Hungarian Physicist and environmental researcher Dr. Miklós Zágoni reversed his view of man-made warming and is now a skeptic. Zágoni was once Hungary's most outspoken supporter of the Kyoto Protocol.

"For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?" - Geologist Dr. David Gee the chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress who has authored 130 plus peer reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.

"Gore prompted me to start delving into the science again and I quickly found myself solidly in the skeptic camp…Climate models can at best be useful for explaining climate changes after the fact." - Meteorologist Hajo Smit of Holland, who reversed his belief in man-made warming to become a skeptic, is a former member of the Dutch UN IPCC committee.

"The quantity of CO2 we produce is insignificant in terms of the natural circulation between air, water and soil... I am doing a detailed assessment of the UN IPCC reports and the Summaries for Policy Makers, identifying the way in which the Summaries have distorted the science." - South Afican Nuclear Physicist and Chemical Engineer Dr. Philip Lloyd, a UN IPCC co-coordinating lead author who has authored over 150 refereed publications.

"All those urging action to curb global warming need to take off the blinkers and give some thought to what we should do if we are facing global cooling instead" - Geophysicist Dr. Phil Chapman, an astronautical engineer and former NASA astronaut, served as staff physicist at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

"The 'global warming scare' is being used as a political tool to increase government control over American lives, incomes and decision making. It has no place in the Society's activities." - Award-Winning NASA Astronaut/Geologist and Moonwalker Jack Schmitt who flew on the Apollo 17 mission and formerly of the Norwegian Geological Survey and for the U.S. Geological Survey.

"Earth has cooled since 1998 in defiance of the predictions by the UN-IPCC….The global temperature for 2007 was the coldest in a decade and the coldest of the millennium…which is why 'global warming' is now called 'climate change.'" - Climatologist Dr. Richard Keen of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado.

"I have yet to see credible proof of carbon dioxide driving climate change, yet alone man-made CO2 driving it. The atmospheric hot-spot is missing and the ice core data refute this. When will we collectively awake from this deceptive delusion?" - Dr. G LeBlanc Smith, a retired Principal Research Scientist with Australia's Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
99. Xulonn
2:27 PM GMT on November 27, 2016
In spite of the election of AGW/CC denier/hoaxist Donald Trump as President of the U.S., I believe that there is still hope for continuing to convert conservatives and evangelicals into accepting the science-backed reality of AGW/CC.

I am philosophically a deist with no formal religious beliefs - and not an evangelical Christian, but I recognize that this segment of U.S. society is a significant one. In addition to the ongoing efforts of evangelical Christian and conservative Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, an earth sciences professor at Texas Tech University, I've just discovered a new (to me) "Yankee" or "northerner" evangelical Christian Republican meteorologist from Minnesota who is firmly on the side of logic and reason.
Quoting the Washington Post:
Republican meteorologist and serial entrepreneur Paul Douglas writes a daily weather and climate column at Star Tribune. He is founder of AerisWeather and co-author of the book "Caring for Creation: The Evangelical's Guide to Climate Change and a Healthy Environment."
Here is a LINK to a column written by Paul Douglas, and published by the Washington Post on November 18 by their "Capital Weather Gang.

It looks like the tide is turning with respect to TV meteorologists, as more and more of them they are beginning to accept the science of AGW/CC and report on it and discuss it on their weather shows. Although I haven't watched cable or network TV for about 25 years, I know they have a huge audience of average citizens in the U.S.


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97. RobertWC
11:37 PM GMT on November 25, 2016
Now back to the body count, of Bolivians , and puffins.
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96. RobertWC
11:25 PM GMT on November 25, 2016
Grateful Dead - "Hell In A Bucket"
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95. RobertWC
11:07 PM GMT on November 25, 2016
91. Xulonn
5:27 PM GMT on November 25, 2016


You, are one of the many reasons I read this site, and this post was one of your better efforts. It does seem that the "Monsters Behind the Door", have broken into the room. And the despair with those of us who follow this topic is soul crushing. I see in comments across the web.

It's a bit like standing on the beach at after the Battle of Dunkirk, and knowing the "Little Ships" din't save you.
But, like that time, there forces lose in the world that may stop Mr. Trump and all he stands for. At least that is what I tell myself. In the mean time, as read for post , I was playing "Hell in a Bucket", in my head.

One of the great parts of my youth was watching Walter Cronkite's , "You are There" on Sundays . This was long before Sundays were gobbled-up by football, and NASCAR. And to my young mind, the highlight of those very dull afternoons, Walter taking me back in time as modern reporter, and reporting on great events from the past. Then the "Twenty Century' came on, again with Walter, and than great theme song. We could do anything, go back time and interview Napoleon
, or fly to the Moon.

As I think about our fate, I glad I'm not in a cave in Northern Spain 40,000 years ago , I'm glad I wasn't watching the first plague ship sail into the harbor at Genoa, I'm glad I wasn't a Soviet soldier at Stalingrad. Humans have always believed, that their time is the most important. But our time, just might be that time.


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94. RobertWC
9:49 PM GMT on November 25, 2016
Climate Change Has Left Bolivia Crippled by Drought
“Bolivians have to be prepared for the worst.” — President Evo Morales.


*****

Like many countries, Bolivia relies on its glaciers and large lakes to supply water during the lean, dry times. But as Bolivia has heated with the rest of the world, those key stores of frozen and liquid water have dwindled and dried up. Warming has turned the country’s second largest lake into a parched bed of hardening soil. This heat has made the country’s largest lake a shadow of its former expanse and depth. It has forced Bolivia’s glaciers into a full retreat up the tips of its northern mountains — reducing the key Chacaltaya glacier to naught. Multiple reservoirs are now bone-dry. And, for hundreds of thousands of people,

Link
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93. RobertWC
9:44 PM GMT on November 25, 2016
People are tweeting #ThanksNASA after a Trump adviser suggested he'd axe its earth science research arm

Scientists have taken to Twitter to talk about all the important work NASA's earth science program does, using the hashtag #ThanksNASA.

Link
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91. Xulonn
5:27 PM GMT on November 25, 2016
This long post is not directly AGW/CC related, but the policies of the incoming U.S. government in Washington, D.C. will affect the the funding and support of climate science severely.

I believe, like many other informed people, that there is a strong likelihood that Trump's ratings will drop steadily as he fails to deliver on campaign promises. Wasn't his vote tally less than 1/4 of the "eligible" U.S. voters actually voted for him? And of course, he lost the popular vote by over 2 million.

The American right wing - a corporate funded and run sector - has used hundreds of millions of dollars to fund the finest persuasive propaganda and media techniques money can buy. With the new and very persuasive powers of the internet, they pushed propaganda like the highly successful "Put Hillary the liar in Jail" meme. This Hillary and jail meme is a "huge" obsession with Trump fans, and he will lose support as he abandons this and other campaign promises. Also, Trump is not "draining the Washington DC swamp of insiders and lobbyists" as he promised to do, but rather he expanding the boundaries of that swamp and increasing it's influence.

Trump cannot "bring the jobs back" because many of them don't exist. He believes in stiffing workers and not honoring contracts, tries to cheat the unions at his hotels, and is not likely to support increasing the minimum wage requirements. He buys foreign goods instead of buying U.S. made products. Based on such facts, it is illogical - even insane - for people to believe that he would bring good-paying manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. He can't - and he won't do these things - but how will his supporters react when he tries to pass the blame for his failures?

More and more semi-skilled and skilled manufacturing and repetitive jobs continue to disappear due to replacement by robotics and automation. There are many people in the U.S. and elsewhere with less than average IQ - after all, and IQ of 100 is "average" and about one-third of the population is between 85 and 115 IQ. (Like population issues, this topic is uncomfortable for many people to discuss.) Many modern technology jobs require higher intelligence and sitting in a cubicle. But even high-tech jobs are not immune to pay degradation. I went from $55/hour as senior desktop support tech for Windows, and senior Novell network administrator in 2000 - to leaving the field when I couldn't get a job above $12/hr in 2001. (And of course, being 60 y/o and slower and les efficient than the young hot-shot techies didn't help.)

People of "less than average" intelligence could in the past work at well-paying union and non-union manufacturing jobs, buy nice cars and houses, and live as friends and neighbors of many of the "more intelligent" segments of human societies. In the futurist and utopian novels and books I read in my youth, the "workers" - who did the hard, dangerous and often boring manufacturing jobs - would be replaced by robots and automation - and that is exactly what is happening. The fatal flaw in the reasoning of those futurist writings was that they expected the working class to be freed to pursue art, poetry and other intellectual and cultural pursuits - which requires that the "system" (governments?) would have to provide incomes to the displaced workers, because the wealth would be created by the machines, not the labor of humans.

We all know how that turned out - rather than supporting the displaced workers, the wealth flowed - and continues to flow - into the bank accounts of the uber wealthy - the real "elites." And while their accumulation of wealth continues to grow, they have managed to deflect the logic and reason about blue-collar job losses towards blaming "trade agreements" and ethnic and racial hatred. The very people who have been duped and robbed of their livelihoods believe that they can and will be rich and successful themselves - if only they work with the Tea Party folks and elect and support the very people who took their jobs away - the corporate interests. This is freaking insane - and I don't know what can be done about it - especially since the concept of politicians and judges as public servants rather than corporate toadies has been pretty much lost. Do those rare remaining dedicated public servants like Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and some of the new incoming Democratic women senators stand a chance of holding back the tide? If their job performance is strong as they oppose the policies and practices of Trump and his incoming administration, will they inspire voters to send them "reinforcements" two years from now in the next election cycle?

I could go on with the details, probably for many, many pages, but I will stop and summarize thusly:

In the past few decades, there have been fundamental changes in the financial, manufacturing, and communication sectors of modern western society. These changes have caused permanent job losses for large numbers of people and the reduction or elimination of reasonable income for this segment. Those people cannot - or will not - face reality and recognize the true causes of manufacturing job losses and the redistribution of wealth to the already wealthy. Plus, human psychology hinders the ability of many to recognize the present and future threats of environmental degradation and AGW/CC.

There have also been incredible advances in science and engineering - including earth sciences such as meteorology and climate science.

With narcissism and greed dominating politics more and more, sacrifice and a reduction in energy and resource use to mitigate AGW/CC and environmental degradation are not popular ideas. Right-wing and nationalist liars are ascending to positions of power in many democracies around the world, leaving those who rely on reason, science, and logic to chart a course into the future with a very difficult task. The legend of Sisyphus has taken on new meaning as I watch the Trump and other nationalists and greedy monsters replace leaders who at least tried to make even a small bit of progress towards dealing with the problems that we humans face. Even if the U.S. turns the politics around a bit in two and four years, the boulders of positive progress are right now rolling back down the hill. (I especially like the "weight" given to the Climate Change boulder)



[Cross-posted at the Arctic Sea Ice Blog]
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
90. Daisyworld
1:41 AM GMT on November 25, 2016
Quoting 79. Xandra:
[...]
Fake News and the "Alt Right" is nothing new to Climate Scientists…


While I discussed fake news as it relates to Facebook in my WU blog, here's an interesting story about where some of it comes from:

We Tracked Down A Fake-News Creator In The Suburbs. Here's What We Learned

Laura Sydell | NPR: All Things Considered | November 23, 2016

A lot of fake and misleading news stories were shared across social media during the election. One that got a lot of traffic had this headline: "FBI Agent Suspected In Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide." The story is completely false, but it was shared on Facebook over half a million times.

We wondered who was behind that story and why it was written. It appeared on a site that had the look and feel of a local newspaper. Denverguardian.com even had the local weather. But it had only one news story — the fake one.

[…]

"That was sort of the thread that started to unravel everything… I was able to track that through to a bunch of other sites…"

The sites include NationalReport.net, USAToday.com.co, WashingtonPost.com.co. All the addresses linked to a single rented server inside Amazon Web Services. That meant they were all very likely owned by the same company. Jansen found an email address on one of those sites and was able to link that address to a name: Jestin Coler.

[…]

"The whole idea from the start was to build a site that could kind of infiltrate the echo chambers of the alt-right, publish blatantly or fictional stories and then be able to publicly denounce those stories and point out the fact that they were fiction," Coler says.

He was amazed at how quickly fake news could spread and how easily people believe it. He wrote one fake story for NationalReport.net about how customers in Colorado marijuana shops were using food stamps to buy pot.

"What that turned into was a state representative in the House in Colorado proposing actual legislation to prevent people from using their food stamps to buy marijuana based on something that had just never happened," Coler says.

[…]

Coler says his writers have tried to write fake news for liberals — but they just never take the bait.

Coler's company, Disinfomedia, owns many faux news sites — he won't say how many. But he says his is one of the biggest fake-news businesses out there, which makes him a sort of godfather of the industry…
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
89. KEEPEROFTHEGATE
1:33 AM GMT on November 25, 2016



Kong's a pretty good king. Keeps to himself, mostly, but you don't go into someone's house and start dropping bombs unless you're picking a fight
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
84. 999Ai2016
2:08 AM GMT on November 23, 2016
"Thunderstorm asthma": Two die after Melbourne storm causes spike in respiratory problems
ABC Australia - Nov 22.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
83. RobertWC
12:53 AM GMT on November 23, 2016
I've been reading fake news for years, think WUWT.
That's the template.
It's TMZ news, that's our problem. That's the Big Media format An endless stream rich bozos coming out resturants, clubs, workouts, and courts.

3 dead polar bears wash up on a beach in Scotland . And what that means. Get run over like a cross town bus.

Just watch "Good Morning America" , a Disney product, 2 mins of news And it's off the latest breakdown of some rich jackass. Then we get "deep" reporting.

It's not fake news, it's "pop corn news", empty crap about people who will never stand in line with you at the supermarket. It's about jiggling the keys it front of the baby. It's bread and circuses. except the circus in first now.

Kayne West is in the metal ward in LA. Hundreds of hours will be given to him. The drought in Bolivia .......... zip.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
82. RobertWC
12:46 AM GMT on November 23, 2016
I've been reading fake news for years, think WUWT.
That's the template.
It's TMZ news, that's our problem. That's the Big Media format An endless stream rich bozos coming out resturants, clubs, workouts, and courts.

3 dead polar bears wash up on a beach in Scotland . And what that means. Get run over like a cross town bus.

Just watch "Good Morning America" , a Disney product, 2 mins of news And it's off the latest breakdown of some rich jackass. Then we get "deep" reporting.

It's not fake news, it's "pop corn news", empty crap about people who will never stand in line with you at the supermarket. It's about jiggling the keys it front of the baby. It's bread and circuses. except the circus in first now.

Kayne West is in the metal ward in LA. Hundreds of hours will be given to him. The drought in Bolivia .......... zip.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
81. LowerCal
9:43 PM GMT on November 22, 2016
Right-wing group led by Trump propagandist launches campaign against Elon Musk, Tesla and SpaceX | Electrek
.... they say they are against “Big Energy” in their manifesto, but in the section about ‘Big Energy’ they only attack the solar industry because they receive tax breaks. Does the solar industry really represent “Big Energy”? If your goal is really to attack energy subsidies, solar and renewable energy subsidies should be your last target considering their share of federal subsidies:

To make their point about Musk and his companies specifically, the group has been using statements that have long been debunked. ....

.... led by Ingraham, who is now being considered by Donald Trump as the next White House Press Secretary....
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
80. Xandra
7:41 PM GMT on November 22, 2016
From White House to madhouse: climate denial in the era of Donald Trump

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
79. Xandra
11:35 AM GMT on November 22, 2016
ABC 2010: First They Came for the Climate Scientists

November 21, 2016



Fake News and the “Alt Right” is nothing new to Climate Scientists.
See this 2010 item from ABC News – the same folks celebrating the elevation of Donald Trump and Richard Bannon to the White House have been threatening scientists for most of a decade.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
78. bappit
11:52 PM GMT on November 20, 2016
Quoting 74. ronnm:
These peoples are suffering from lack of wealth and security in their future and know in their heart of hearts most of what they hear are lies. So they grasp at whoever throws them a straw they may cling to.
What I take away from Obama observations is that the lies have been going on for decades now (Obama suggests 20 years) and are becoming more frequent and more pervasive. What started (perhaps) with the Merchants of Doubt promoting tobacco back in the 70's has become generalized. It is not a phenomenon limited to climate change or industry special interests. It has become an accepted strategy in the U.S. for obtaining and maintaining political power. (Boehner did not disavow it.)

It is obviously based in a sense of entitlement. This technique or strategy of making bald faced lies is available for use, and they are comfortable in using it even though it is highly unethical and, frankly, immoral (certainly with tobacco). They seem to have no shame in employing it. They must have a sense of entitlement that supersedes ethical concerns.

I suppose one could call it a cynical sense of entitlement, but the tribal element of it (I agree with Rood's use of that word) or the group-think that it involves is a sign of what in ordinary circumstances would be viewed as an immature mode of behavior. Instead of using their own faculties for ethical decision making, they ignore any consideration of responsible behavior (what Obama refers to as going "beyond the pale") and merely follow the crowd. Where it has become a question of ideological purity (RINO's), I would say it is surpassing immaturity and morphing into hysteria.

I suppose that if someone thinks that their personal actions will have no effect and thus are comfortable in not acting then they approach things with a cynical sense of entitlement, too, such as, "Well, I might as well do what I've been doing." If they dig in their heels when someone points out their cynicism, then they may be adopting an immature attitude.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
77. Patrap
6:35 PM GMT on November 20, 2016
Climate change makes major Gulf Coast deluges more likely: study



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76. PedleyCA
8:36 PM GMT on November 19, 2016
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I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.

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