Global Warming – The Message Is Getting Through

The New York Times reports on a new poll.

A record number of Americans understand that climate change is real, according to a new survey, and they are increasingly worried about its effects in their lives today.

Two important takeaways:

First, the results themselves. “I’ve never seen jumps in some of the key indicators like this,” one of the investigators said.

Second, the Times saw no need to “balance” the results with a statement from a self-identified scientist living in his mother’s basement. Further, they used the word “understand” four times to describe the respondents’ relationship to the facts of global warming.

Real progress.

And open thread.



A Climate Change Disaster That Might Actually Hit Denialists Where They (And Most Of Us) Live

The tiny handed shitgibbon infesting the White House seems to “think” that folks can’t tell the difference between weather and climate:*

“Large parts of the Country are suffering from tremendous amounts of snow and near record setting cold. Amazing how big this system is. Wouldn’t be bad to have a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming right now!”

Don’t know about you but I can hear the “hurr, hurr, hurr” quite clearly.

Meanwhile, in the reality-based cosmos, new and increasingly horrific dimensions of the climate crisis are making themselves apparent with every passing week:

Applying IUCN Red List of Threatened Species criteria to all (124) wild coffee species, we undertook a gap analysis for germplasm collections and protected areas and devised a crop wild relative (CWR) priority system. We found that at least 60% of all coffee species are threatened with extinction, 45% are not held in any germplasm collection, and 28% are not known to occur in any protected area. Existing conservation measures, including those for key coffee CWRs, are inadequate. We propose that wild coffee species are extinction sensitive, especially in an era of accelerated climatic change.

Domesticated coffee cultivation in a context of changing climate, drought, changes in pest patterns etc. requires the kind of genetic variety and range of traits that the ~125 wild coffee species offer.  Those wild plants are subject to the same pressures that have created what many see as the sixth Great Extinction in the history of life on earth: loss of habitat, over exploitation, and, now, human-driven climate change.  As the abstract above notes, much of the genetic heritage of wild coffee is simply unknown: unpreserved, unstudied, and under dire threat.

Which means that while Trump smears faeces on the wall (on the faces of his supporters?) the one thing that makes facing a morning with his tweets in it seem even remotely possible is being put at risk by his and his party’s willed ignorance, stupidity, and greed.

Happy Sunday, all….

(Open Thread)

*He might not be wrong for much of his base, but more and more, it appears, this particular squib doesn’t have much impact beyond the I’ll-enjoy-the-drought-to-pwn-the-libs crowd.

Image: J.W.M. Turner, Snow Storm: Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouthc. 1842.



Getting Competent Speakers On Global Warming – Followup

I complained last week about cable tv coverage of global warming by inviting know-nothing antis instead of using interviews they had already done with real climate scientists. Looks like others are taking notice.

The Weather Channel collected links.

The Trump administration released a landmark climate report on Black Friday, but instead of becoming Thanksgiving leftovers, the 1,656-page report, a rigorous outline of the present and near-future hazards climate change poses to the U.S., was featured prominently on TV networks over the weekend and into the next week. Much of the coverage, however, included inaccurate, misleading or outright incorrect misinformation.

….many of the talking heads featured on TV over the weekend contradicted not just the report’s findings, but even the well-established, widely agreed upon basics of climate science. The first sentence of the nearly 2,000 page report reads: “Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities.” Even that was up for debate. NBC’s Meet the Press, for instance, invited Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, to share her opinions on the report on Sunday. (AEI, which is known for sowing doubt about climate change, has received millions of dollars in donations from Exxon Mobil and the Koch Foundation.)

And a lot more.

Yesterday, the New York Times chimed in.

As Steven J. Milloy, a skeptic of human-caused climate change and a member of the Trump transition team, said, there had been no need “to stop the deep state” from releasing the report when “this is made-up hysteria, anyway.”

Thankfully, cable news came to the rescue by making sure that those who commented on air about a report produced by scientists across 13 federal agencies were trained experts.

No, wait. That’s not what happened.

On CNN, the former senator Rick Santorum disputed the findings with a canard: “A lot of these scientists are driven by the money that they receive,” he said. The network later came under fire when “AC360” had Mr. Santorum on again but canceled a planned interview with an author of the government report, the atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University.

A lot more there too, particularly about red tides in Florida. What is notable is that Jim Rutenberg calls the denialists what they are.

Slow, but progress.

And open thread!



Doing Their Part

Two in 24 hours requires formal recognition. Both MSNBC and CNN chose to feature charlatans on global warming when they had full opportunity to broadcast some science.

This is beyond Nero fiddling while Rome burns. This is pouring gasoline on the flames.

Here is a partial explanation from, I suspect, a jackal.

I’m not sure what the best way is to inform the cable networks of their malevolence, but use whatever channels you’ve got.

 



A Small Step

Folks,

I just wanted to pass on a tip that may cost you a bit more money but will reduce your carbon footprint. I mean most of us here know this and care about these issues, but that doesn’t always result in action or change, now does it?

So last Friday I spent 30 minutes researching and then changing my electricity provider from the standard (dirty) mix of sources to 100% renewable. It literally took a few minutes to setup and configure my new source which is still delivered by my local power company.

When I first went to sign up, it offered me at no extra charge on top of my normal power bill, a 50-50 mix of wind/renewable and normal. So just by signing up for free and with no premium, I could be 50% renewable. I figured, “Well, they’ve already given me half, might as well make it 100%” and clicked the slider, Apply, and I was done. Of course that’s the sales pitch, and it worked. On top of things, I get a $50 Best Buy card in the mail soon which will come in handy as I shop.

I am now using 100% renewable power, and since this house is all-electric, I can sleep a bit better knowing that I’m helping in a small way every minute. My power bill will increase a bit as the renewable is more expensive, but that’s a small investment in a slightly better future – in this case, value today means outsize effects in the future and I’d rather pay that bill now if possible, before it gets bigger.

In the back of my mind, I knew that I could do this, but didn’t get around to actually doing it until I read about the Federal Government report on Friday and made my small step. In this case, my provider was/is running a Black Friday promotion with the before-mentioned gift card. The physical hookup, etc. remain as they are, so really this just means that they feed my local power company X kilowatts of power each period to cover my usage.

It’s contract, installation-fee, and investment -free, so I can change my mix or mind whenever I choose, though I expect I’ll stick with them as long as the price remains acceptable. I’m not funding some investment jackass’s new furniture to feel pure, so I plan to keep an eye on the rates and how it all goes down.

I’m not looking for accolades, but wanted to prompt as many of you as possible to check your local electricity providers to see if they offer an option for renewable energy, or if you are in an area where you can choose your supplier, see if you can find a renewable provider that you’re comfortable with. In my case, knowing that my local power company still delivers and services the lines means that I should see no difference except less carbon usage and a slightly higher bill.

 

Open Thread!