Category Archives: Climate Change

Climate: The first decade of the new millennium was the warmest on record

cross-posted from T-Time

Debunking the deniers

Stephen Leahy of Inter Press Service interviews climate expert Naomi Oreskes.

PARIS—Even though 2009 was the fifth-warmest year since 1850, and 2000-09 the warmest decade ever, according to the World Meteorological Organization, surveys show that public concern about global warming in the United States and Canada has dropped sharply in the past 18 months.

Why? Because of a relentless disinformation effort from an unlikely cabal of fossil-fuel interests, Christian evangelicals and the media, says Naomi Oreskes, a professor of history and science studies at the University of California, San Diego.

“They have managed to reopen the debate over global warming in people’s minds,” she told Inter Press Service (IPS).

Oreskes and coauthor Erik Conway, a science historian at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, document similar efforts to manufacture doubt around the science on acid rain, the ozone hole, secondhand cigarette smoke and the pesticide DDT in their forthcoming book, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming.

In 2004 Oreskes was vilified on TV, radio and in print by commentators for providing clear evidence there was, in fact, a scientific consensus on global climate change. Her essay in the journal Science examined all of the peer-reviewed scientific papers on climate over the previous 10 years and found none dissented with the theories that climate change was occurring and it was caused by humans. Her survey has never been successfully challenged, despite many attempts.

IPS environmental correspondent Stephen Leahy spoke to Oreskes over the phone. Excerpts of the interview follow.

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Newswire: The Climate Changes in Copenhagen

AP IMPACT: “Climate-gate”– Science not faked, but not pretty
LONDON (AP) — E-mails stolen from climate scientists show they stonewalled skeptics and discussed hiding data – but the messages don’t support claims that the science of global warming was faked, according to an exhaustive review by The Associated Press.

The 1,073 e-mails examined by the AP show that scientists harbored private doubts, however slight and fleeting, even as they told the world they were certain about climate change. However, the exchanges don’t undercut the vast body of evidence showing the world is warming because of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

source:

UN talks: Rich nations must make big emission cuts

COPENHAGEN (AP) — Wealthy nations would commit to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade, and the world should strive to nearly eliminate them – or at least cut them in half – by 2050 under a draft agreement circulated Friday at the U.N. climate talks

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Under one Danish roof, humanity talks climate

COPENHAGEN (AP) — Once every turn around the sun, inhabitants of our battered blue globe gather by the thousands in an assigned place, for a two-week ritual of despair and hope called a climate conference.
In just 15 years, the annual conferences reviewing the 1992 U.N. climate treaty have grown into assemblies that, perhaps more than any other, encompass the human enterprise.

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On the Ground in Copenhagen: Commerce Secretary Gary Locke

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke talks about his efforts to promote green jobs and business at the United Nations Climate Change Conference. December 11, 2009

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Major makeover of Wall Street regs passes House
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House passed the most ambitious restructuring of federal financial regulations since the New Deal on Friday, aiming to head off any replay of last year’s Wall Street failures that plunged the nation deep into recession.

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Ed Begley Jr. Flips Out On Fox: Climate Change Is Real (VIDEO)

HP—On Tuesday afternoon on Fox News, actor and environmental activist Ed Begley Jr. got into a heated shouting match with Fox News contributor and substitute Neil Cavuto show host Stuart Varney about the “hacked climate emails.”

The conversation started out civil enough. “Does this change things at all, these emails,” Varney asks Begley. “Do you ever think that maybe you’re wrong about global warming?” The GOP has now opened a probe into the emails, and the Drudge Report is calling the emails “the greatest scandal in modern science.”

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President Obama’s Saturday YouTube Address 11/21/09

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WhiteHouse.gov—In an address recorded in Seoul, South Korea, the President discusses his trip to Asia. He talks about his push to stop nuclear proliferation in North Korea, Iran, and around the world. He talks about promoting America’s principles for an open society in China while making progress on joint efforts to combat climate change. And talks in-depth about the primary objective of his trip: engaging in new markets that hold tremendous potential to spur job creation here at home.

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A New Green Youth Movement by Senator John Kerry

Posted by Audiegrl

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JohnKerry_launchSenator John Kerry—I know the difference a generation of young Americans in motion can make.

I was in college at a time of great political ferment and fundamental changes to our social fabric: the Civil Rights Act, the beginning of the counterculture and the passage of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that set us on a disastrous path of deepening involvement in Vietnam.

When I came home from war disillusioned, I joined with millions of young people who marched against Richard Nixon’s Vietnam policy, against racial bigotry, against gender bias, and we changed our country for the better. We read Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” and our generation formed the bedrock of the activism that gave America its first Earth Day and the modern environmental movement.

Now, it’s time for a new generation of Americans to get in motion — because the very survival of our planet depends on them.

Now is the time for young people who learned to flex their political muscle last November to shift into high-gear and get Washington to take on our historic legislation to combat global climate change.

Starting today I am challenging young Americans throughout the country to make their voices heard on this urgent matter. I am doing this through the Organize to be Heard Challenge.

Please visit http://consequence09.org/challenge for more information on the campaign.

I need you to help America seize control of our energy, economic and security future, and the future of generations to come.

PrintDon’t think you can’t make a difference? You already have. In the last election, more than 24 million 18-to-29 year-olds went to the polls because it was time for a change. This critical mass of young people — the Millennial generation — changed the direction of our country in a profound way on education, the economy, foreign policy and, of course, global warming.

But you can’t stop now. We face a threat to the very existence of our planet. Rising sea levels, drought and famine will not stop without action — action now.

We can put America back in charge of its energy future. We can invest in our economy and create clean energy jobs. We can strengthen our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil. And we can secure our future by eliminating harmful pollution that threatens us all.

We can do all of this. We can do it together. And that, I can assure you, is what we’ve always done in America and what we can do again.

Follow John Kerry on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JohnKerry

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Making Waves in Power Generation

posted by GeoT


Ocean Power Technologies Project Wins A $66.5m Grant for Wave Power project

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PENNINGTON, N.J. Renewable energy firm Ocean Power Technologies has won a (AUD)$66.5 million (USD)$61 million) grant from the Australian government for a project set to be one of the first to generate power from waves on a utility scale.

The company uses buoys floating up and down to drive an electrical generator, with the power generated being transmitted onshore via an underwater cable.

The project off the coast of Victoria is being carried out in conjunction with Leighton Contractors, a unit of Australian mining contractor Leighton Holdings.

The award was announced by the Australian Resources Energy Minister, Martin Ferguson, under the Renewable Energy Demonstration Program (REDP), which has awarded funding totaling (AUD)$235 million to four renewable energy projects, aimed at meeting the Government’s target of generating 20% of the country’s energy needs from renewable sources by 2020.

The grant is conditional on the signing of a Funding Deed stipulating the conditions for the grant, which includes funding milestones. Victorian Wave Partners will be required to seek additional funding to enable the completion of the 19 MW wave power station.

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Climate Change: Snow cap disappearing from Mount Kilimanjaro

“The snows of Kilimanjaro may soon be gone. The African mountain’s white peak — made famous by writer Ernest Hemingway — is rapidly melting”

WASHINGTON – Some 85 percent of the ice that made up the mountaintop glaciers in 1912 was gone by 2007, researchers led by paleoclimatologist Lonnie Thompson of Ohio State University report in Tuesday’s edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
And more than a quarter of the ice present in 2000 was gone by 2007.

The snows capping Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest peak, are shrinking rapidly and could vanish altogether in 20 years,


If current conditions continue “the ice fields atop Kilimanjaro will not endure,” the researchers said.

The Kilimanjaro glaciers are both shrinking, as the ice at their edges melts, and thinning, the researchers found.

Similar changes are being reported at Mount Kenya and the Rwenzori Mountains in Africa and at glaciers in South America and the Himalayas.

“The fact that so many glaciers throughout the tropics and subtropics are showing similar responses suggests an underlying common cause,” Thompson said in a statement. “The increase of Earth’s near surface temperatures, coupled with even greater increases in the mid- to upper-tropical troposphere, as documented in recent decades, would at least partially explain” the observations.

Changes in cloudiness and snowfall may also be involved, though they appear less important, according to the study.

One of a growing number of isolated remnants of ice spires that were once full glaciers in the crater of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.


On Kilimanjaro, the researchers said, the northern ice field thinned by 6.2 feet (1.9 meters) and the southern ice field by 16.7 feet (5.1 meters) between 2000 and 2007.

Researchers compared the current area covered by the glaciers with maps of the glaciers based on photographs taken in 1912 and 1953 and satellite images from 1976 and 1989.

The research was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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