FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Cole writes: "Can we sue the Koch brothers and all the other dirty-energy, climate change-denying moguls yet for the billions they are costing us in climate disasters every year because of their poisonous carbon emissions?"

Juan Cole; public intellectual, prominent blogger, essayist and professor of history. (photo: Informed Comment)
Juan Cole; public intellectual, prominent blogger, essayist and professor of history. (photo: Informed Comment)


Frankenyear 2012: Hottest on Record

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment

09 January 13

 

an we sue the Koch brothers and all the other dirty-energy, climate change-denying moguls yet for the billions they are costing us in climate disasters every year because of their poisonous carbon emissions?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that:

"2012 marked the warmest year on record for the contiguous United States with the year consisting of a record warm spring, second warmest summer, fourth warmest winter and a warmer-than-average autumn. The average temperature for 2012 was 55.3°F, 3.2°F above the 20th century average, and 1.0°F above 1998, the previous warmest year."

The temperatures set records in 19 states and they were warmer than average in all of the lower 48.

Frankenyear was also the 2nd most destructive on record, lashing the nation with 11 catastrophes that reached at least $1 bn. in losses - including hurricanes, drought, wildfires, tornadoes and the great storm surge in New York City. Hurricanes are fed by warm water, and warmer water makes them more destructive and longer-lasting. It was the unusual warmth of the ocean off the New York coast that allowed Sandy to strike up there with such force. The average surface temperature of the earth has increased one Centigrade degree (1.8 Fahrenheit degrees) in the past century, and is heading for a calamitous 4 C. degrees increase in this century.

It was the 15th driest year on record. In summer of 2012, a massive drought smothered 61% of the country. Hawaii likewise was extremely dry, with drought in 63.3% of the state. On the mainland, wildfires raged through 9.2 million acres of forest, the third highest on record. The Mississippi River is so low that bigger river ships can't go out on it, stretches of it are deserted like a 'ghost town,' and some of it could be closed altogether as it heads below 3 feet in depth. Ironically, the Mississippi carries a lot of hydrocarbons like petroleum, the very fuels that are causing its current travails.

ABC reports, and actually does a snippet mention of man-made climate change, though in the recommendations for what to do, they focus on things like buying flood insurance and 'becoming more energy efficient' instead of simply calling for vastly lowered carbon dioxide emissions.

Climate is extremely complex. We may yet see some cold years. There is some thinking that the melting of ice at the poles could temporarily cool the oceans and reduce temperatures for a while. But the longer term trend is not only toward hotter, it is toward a kind of hotter that human beings may find it difficult to survive.

What can be done to forestall this coming set of global disasters?

  1. Tax carbon emissions.
  2. Close all coal plants as soon as humanly possible.
  3. Move rapidly, as Germany and Scotland are, toward wind, and solar, and wave and other renewables ( geothermal, new hydroelectric, etc.). Any government subsidies, stimulus, tax breaks that could possibly be provided for this would save trillions in climate damage down the road (and not that far from now).
  4. Call out corporations, states, and countries that decline to reduce their emissions on a short time scale; as public attitudes change, especially on the bench, it may be possible to begin suing them successfully for the property damage they are doing (English law in the Lockean tradition is very good about protecting property).
  5. Disinvest from Big Oil and Big Carbon generally.
  6. Municipalities and counties should take matters into their own hands, as with Sacramento, CA and now Boulder, Co.. They should abandon electric utilities that depend heavily on coal, and generate green electricity for their city.

 

Comments   

We are concerned about a recent drift towards vitriol in the RSN Reader comments section. There is a fine line between moderation and censorship. No one likes a harsh or confrontational forum atmosphere. At the same time everyone wants to be able to express themselves freely. We'll start by encouraging good judgment. If that doesn't work we'll have to ramp up the moderation.

General guidelines: Avoid personal attacks on other forum members; Avoid remarks that are ethnically derogatory; Do not advocate violence, or any illegal activity.

Remember that making the world better begins with responsible action.

- The RSN Team

 
+21 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-01-09 12:43
On page 85 of his book "The Greatest Hoax", Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) tells of taunting Al Gore:

“…But the problem was that places across America were not experiencing sweat on their brows in the middle of February but, instead, record cold temperatures – and that was kind of inconvenient for them. At the March 2007 hearing, I challenged Gore on that point. He had mentioned that the fires that were occurring in Oklahoma that year were due to global warming. So I asked him, “How come you guys never seem to notice it when it gets cold?” I held up a document from the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration that showed that there were 183 record cold temperatures in January 2007- 183 of them! As for Oklahoma, we had three cold days that year that were the coldest days in history. So I asked: where is global warming when you
really need it?”

But when I checked with the NOAA records…

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/records/

… for January 2007, Inhofe’s claims didn’t jibe. On the NOAA site , there were 1,721 record (broken or tied) lowest minimum temperatures in January 2007 and 2,355 lowest maximum temps.

Balance those with 2,506 highest maximum temperatures and 3,389 highest minimums.

So, lows: 4,076. Highs: 5,895.

Oddly, Senator Inhofe doesn’t mention those…
 
 
+37 # universlman 2013-01-09 14:42
Trying to correct the foolish arguments of people like Inhofe is a waste of time. Better to prepare yourself as if those people don't exist. They will be hard to locate after we cross the tipping point.
 
 
+16 # Smokey 2013-01-09 18:50
[quote name="universlm an"] "Trying to correct the foolish arguments of people like Inhofe is a waste of time."

I agree with you... However: I prefer to use the term "climate change," instead of saying "global warming."

As the climate changes, some areas - for example, the United Kingdom - may actually become colder.

Winters and cold weather won't vanish.
What will happen should be called "climate change." This term will help to reduce confusion.
 
 
+8 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-01-09 19:21
Smokey, I'm comfortable with 'em all:

Colder climes due to climate change due to global weirding due to global warming.
 
 
+9 # Ken Halt 2013-01-09 20:05
I think "climate chaos" is more descriptive of the extremes that are going to happen until climates stabilize again in a thousand years or so.
 
 
+6 # NOMINAE 2013-01-10 13:04
@ Ken Halt

Gotta admit that "climate chaos" most accurately presents the reality to non-scientific community ! Good ONE !

And, I gotta wonder why Juan Cole overlooked :

#7 Stop all the corporate welfare to Gigantic Polluters like the petroleum industry which STILL receives an annual SIXTEEN BILLION taxpayer dollars in "incentives" for petro-exploration.

This is why we have more "reserve" than we can possibly burn and still breathe, and the refining side of the "oil bidna" is actually working for it's profit.

Everyone else wants that Corporate Welfare money (grandma can eat discount cat food), and few want to face the actual "free market" in force on the refining side.

If we don't take these monsters off the Welfare Teat, they will NEVER relinquish the death-grip they now enjoy over the global economies. And why WOULD they ? They are being HANDSOMELY rewarded for the absolute WORST of BAD behavior. And this in a time of GLOBAL RECORDS in oil industry profit levels !
 
 
+5 # Kootenay Coyote 2013-01-10 07:57
'Climate Change' was a term introduced by early resisters to the idea of Global Warming. Global Scorching is more like it. Yes, some areas may become colder for a while, but the overall temperature averages are manifestly already rising.
 
 
+11 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-01-09 19:39
Inhofe isn't foolish, but instead very shrewd.

His science-based arguments (based on "his" science) quickly unravel and disintegrate upon sound scrutiny.

Rather, Inhofe's most compelling persuasion is that the massive coordinated American addressing of rising CO2 levels will mean the largest tax increase in American history and massive job loss if the U.S limits its competitive manufacturing through CO2 curtailment while India and China undercut us with their continued environment-ign oring production.

Inhofe's book, "The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future" gets a strong majority of rave reviews on the Amazon site. The dissenting minority is scathing about how his religiosity influences his scientific reasoning.

Reading it certainly raised my blood pressure, invoking an imagined very theatrical rebuttal on almost every page, but as the adage goes, "Know thine enemy".
 
 
+19 # VoiceofReason613 2013-01-09 12:52
It is essential that we make saving the planetary environment a central focus for society today.

As president of Jewish Vegetarians of North America, I want to add to the list of things that should be done to avert a climate catastrophe, a major societal shift toward vegan diets is essential. A 2006 UN FAO report, "Livestock's Long Shadow," indicated that animal-based agriculture emits more greenhouse gases (in CO2 equivalents) than all the cars, planes, ships, and all other means of transportation worldwide combined. Other reports indicate even more startling conclusions, largely due to the large amounts of methane emitted by cattle and other animals, since methane is far more potent in heating the atmosphere than CO2.

A shift to plant-based diets would have many additional benefits related to environmental sustainability, improved human health, more efficient use of land, water, energy, and other resources, reduced animal abuses, and educed hunger.
 
 
+2 # handmjones 2013-01-10 05:50
Rice cultivation is a massive source of methane.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379108000760
 
 
+4 # Kootenay Coyote 2013-01-10 07:58
So is beef raising.
 
 
+24 # Sunflower 2013-01-09 12:55
Great set of suggestions. If our bought off
Congress will not pass a Carbon tax, it is
up to we the people to pass a constitutional amendment demanding such a tax.

When you think of it, letting climate change continue unchecked is imposing a
regressive tax on all the people of the world, in the form of higher food prices.

Inaction is not free, as we see in the Billions that Sandy, alone, will cost the US taxpayer. How much will the out of control fires in Australia cost them?

The longer we wait before switching over to clean energy sources, the more expensive the whole process will be and
the more climate devastation will have
occurred. If we wait until all the feedback loops have kicked in, we
may ruin the planet permanently.

What lunacy to spend money on the military when climate change is the
major threat facing us as a species!

Thanks Juan Cole, and let's keep trying
to raise the visibility of this crisis
while there is still time to fix it.

Therefore, time for action NOW!
 
 
-12 # DurangoKid 2013-01-09 12:59
Isn't blaming fossil fuel companies for CO2 emissions a bit like blaming grocery stores for sewage? The problem is systemic and it needs a systemic approach.
 
 
+30 # Jim Rocket 2013-01-09 14:00
Yes and no. Since some of these companies are spending tens, if not hundreds, of millions to convince people that there is nothing of concern with their product they are far from victims of circumstance.
 
 
+11 # Smokey 2013-01-09 19:10
[quote name="DurangoKi d"]"Isn't blaming fossil fuel companies for CO2 emissions a bit like blaming grocery stores for sewage? The problem is systemic and it needs a systemic approach."

Hmmmm.... I don't know what is, exactly, that you're trying to say. However: I certainly agree with you that the climate change problem needs a "systemic approach."

Climate change is a product - one of many - of a global energy system gone crazy. I blame fossil fuel companies for many of the problems. EXAMPLE: Why do fossil fuel companies purchase patent rights for clean energy technology without developing the new technology? (Are the big energy companies trying to protect their fossil fuel investments?)
 
 
+19 # zitzwitz@mac.com 2013-01-09 13:00
For us to do nothing today, will cost us a tremendous amount later. The millions who will be displaced, the human cost and fighting among us, will turn back civilization hundreds of years.
Is it our media, the only one to blame, for not reporting the facts on this subject? Something is, as we seem to be the only country in the world who are so utterly uneducated, clueless and un-interested of this reality.
 
 
+5 # Smokey 2013-01-09 19:21
[quote name="zitzwitz@mac.com"]
"Is it our media, the only one to blame, for not reporting the facts on this subject?"

Blame the wimps in national politics who refused to talk about climate change until Hurricane Sandy arrived. Despite the major problems - droughts, forest fires, etc. - that Americans experienced during the summers of 2012 and 2011.

The big energy companies share some of the blame. And, yes, we need a new generation of environmentalis ts. The Al Gore crowd doesn't know how to move the climate change discussion out of classrooms and into the places where most Americans live and work.

If Gore and his allies were effective, they would have pushed the climate change debate forward during the Democratic primaries and during the Democratic National Convention.

Gore is the only man in America - aside from Obama himself - who could have forced the Democrats to address the climate change issue in important ways during 2011-2012.
 
 
+8 # moafu@yahoo.com 2013-01-09 13:11
ANYBODY CAN SUE ANYBODY ELSE IF THE CLAIM IS LEGITIMATE. YOU MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING THERE !
 
 
+16 # HowardMH 2013-01-09 13:25
Sure Why not sue the Koch brothers but that would take an administration with a spine.

You think maybe, just maybe the stupid politicians will finally recognize global warming and start to actually do something about it instead of listening to Big Oil? Nah will not happen!
As one Idiot Senator said how can there be global warming when we can build a snow man and igloo on the mall in Wash DC, which his kids actually did a couple years ago. However, the real problem is the millions of idiots that voted for these morons. Until food prices doubles or triples these stupid people will not get it – and by then it just might be too late to stop global warming.
As long as the oil and coal companies continue to own the politicians, nothing is going to change on Capital Hill. Until there are two hundred thousand really, really pissed off people on Capital Hill (all at the same time – with base ball bats and 2 x 2s) raising some serious hell absolutely nothing is ever, ever going to happen to these totally bought and paid for by the richest 50 people in the world that are becoming more and more powerful with each passing rigged election thanks to the stupid people.
 
 
-5 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-01-09 14:24
HowardMh,

"...As one Idiot Senator said how can there be global warming when we can build a snow man and igloo on the mall in Wash DC, which his kids actually did a couple years ago...."

Get it right, Howard.

"...which his kids actually did"...

GRANDKIDS, Howard, GRANDKIDS!

(See: Inhofe's "The Greatest Hoax", pp. 87-88)
 
 
+5 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-01-09 20:00
True, Inhofe's grandkids mocked Gore with their igloo.

The media then mocked Inhofe's mocking of Gore.

But I told you he was shrewd.

For his denialist fans, he smoothly paints the media uproar as attacking the innocent play of children and then proceeds.. ...and I must begrudgingly admit, proceeds WELL... to paint the media as fantasizers and deniers of reality.

Just look at his reviews on Amazon...

He IS shrewd.
 
 
+5 # Regina 2013-01-10 07:13
...and extremely dangerous. The wishful thinkers will listen to him rather than to facts and reason.
 
 
+13 # Helen 2013-01-09 16:25
You are right about the stupid politicians, but right now they are what we have. If you believe that democracy can work, don't just sit back and give up. Call them, over and over, and write letters, and sign petitions like the one at signon.org/sign /tax-carbon-now We are the ones who have to make democracy work. Join groups like the Citizens Climate Lobby. Encourage Senator Maria Cantwell who was circulating a bill to tax carbon. We are all in this together.
 
 
+8 # moonrigger 2013-01-09 13:46
Yes, we absolutely need to increase wind, solar, and other renewables, while eliminating coal. Alas, hydro is saturated-no more available rivers (and creating new dams can be disastrous to the environment, while older dams are starting to become eroded--time bombs, especially now that the climate is changing so drastically). Although we are all still freaked out about Fukushima, check out the new modular nuclear reactors, which will be far, far safer than the older ones, should also be part of the equation. They are smaller, more efficient, and only have to be refueled every 5 years. Old reactors should be replaced with this new technology. With a multi-pronged approach, we can then cut back on fossil fuels, and use them sparingly where no other resource will work.
 
 
+2 # NOMINAE 2013-01-10 17:23
@ moonrigger

GREAT contribution. I'm on board all the way if you can just answer one question. Has *anyone*, I mean ANYONE, yet figured out how to safely dispose of Nuclear WASTE ? If not, the whole nuclear "option" is totally off-the-table. For the SAME reason that it was shut down in the Seventies. More efficient producers of deadly waste are likewise a non-answer, and therefore, a non-starter from the "git-go" as well !

Renewables are the obvious answer, one that we would be pursuing and leading ahead of Germany and Japan who are now "kicking our economic tails" in the safe energy market, were it not for our indentured slavery to the Oil Boyz.

Geothermal, Solar, Wave power, etc., as you observe above, all have great potential and NO danger of "snapping back to bite our children and grandchildren for the endless ages that represent the nuclear half-life of spent Fuel rods.

No one can convince me that, were this country allowed to pursue a "Manhattan Project" (shout-out to the Nuke Fans)
for alternative energy, that this country would not lead the world in no time.

Unfortunately, the Oil Boyz will not even allow that discussion, much less the implementation of such a "Project".

It's a damned good thing that putting a man on the moon didn't involve the use or discovery of alternative energy, or THAT would have been accomplished by some other country as well !

The balance of your post is marvelous. Thank you for your input.
 
 
+17 # Fraenkel.1 2013-01-09 13:46
The Koch brothers hide their nasty characters by giving money to 'good causes". For example they built the dance theater, the Koch Theater, at Lincoln Center in NYC. They support "scientific innovation". Beware.
 
 
+13 # readerz 2013-01-09 14:07
When they tried to debunk global warming, and hired scientists who gathered much more evidence, it was found that there is much greater warming than previously thought. The only positive thing is that those Koch-hired scientists actually published those findings. Of course, all the billionaires laugh all the way to the bank, as they use the arctic for shipping and oil and gas drilling. The right-wing believes in global warming, but they pretend they don't.
 
 
+17 # readerz 2013-01-09 14:04
Somehow, I just can't think today. My husband is now stage 4 cancer. Pollution equals carcinogens; fossil fuels especially. This is going to be a microcosmic catastrophe for our family, but the economic costs of pollution include disease.

So does warming: warmer weather means molds that kill bats who would normally eat insects, and more insects. Rats and mice multiply several times a year in warmer climates: it will bring plagues.

So, add together the increased infections and increased cancers, and, we will be going to hell, and not in a handbasket, but by the boatload.
 
 
+18 # ericlipps 2013-01-09 14:40
The ridiculous Sen. Inhofe doesn't believe evolution is real, either, perhaps because it hasn't happened lately in his family.
 
 
+14 # reiverpacific 2013-01-09 15:44
This stuff was published by the BBC at the weekend but nothing in the US owner media though! It'll probably be brushed under the carpet.
But then, when you've got country with a "Creationist museum" in Kentucky and mega-churches railing against anything but "God's will" with a capitalist press owned by the same six conglomerates that support the Kochs', with many heavily invested in fossil fuel -example, Westinghouse just bought CBS and their CEO's are now the same person, it's looking like an uphill battle, especially with the current congress.
I guess moving back to Scotland makes more sense all the time. Last time I was there, many of what used to be barren moors had sprouted wind farms -and the sheep didn't seem to mind.
They are also re-building railways cut by the Tories and re-planting sustainable forests at a high rate. Makes me proud.
Unfortunately, the USA is so big and the worst polluter in the world (not sure where China stands here but at least they are getting into solar) that it's sins are able to spread beyond it's shores and borders, which is the tragic consequence of industrial and media consolidation both by vertical integration and interlocking directorates.
It's up to the grassroots yet again.
 
 
+6 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-01-09 16:39
Reiver,

Bill Maher makes an entertaining visit to the Creationist Museum in his film, "Religulous".

Solar works best in California and Arizona, we're told; it's not practical for northern climes. Yet Germany is doing remarkably well in developing its solar power, and if we could slide it directly to the west at its latitude, it would lie north of Minnesota.
 
 
+5 # Ken Halt 2013-01-09 20:09
You don't need sun all the time to make solar practical. In CA, even the foggy areas near the shore are able to utilize solar to advantage. Germany is a case in point.
 
 
+7 # spercepolnes 2013-01-09 20:37
Quoting Ray Kondrasuk:
Reiver,

Bill Maher makes an entertaining visit to the Creationist Museum in his film, "Religulous".

Solar works best in California and Arizona, we're told; it's not practical for northern climes. Yet Germany is doing remarkably well in developing its solar power, and if we could slide it directly to the west at its latitude, it would lie north of Minnesota.
In Australia, they have closed two coal fired stations, and deferred construction of 3 gas fire stations, thanks to the uptake of solar PV rooftop systems.The coal corporates are not happy!
 
 
0 # NOMINAE 2013-01-10 17:33
@ reiverpacific

I fully enjoy many of your comments. Some very good stuff to be found therein. I note that you frequently "threaten" to go back to Scotland.

As a fellow Celt, we here in the American West (in which I know you yourself reside) have a saying that you may not have heard. It runs along the lines of "Don't *talk* about it, DO it" !

As much as we'd all bemoan your absence, the last I checked, flights to Glasgow were *still* going both ways.
 
 
+7 # reiverpacific 2013-01-09 16:42
This is summer in the southern Hemisphere and they've had to extend the Celsius scale to accommodate the 50°C recorded temperatures (that's 122°F!!!) and that's in Sydney; Gawd knows what it's like in Darwin father north -wildfires are roaring in the Bush according to the BBC.
Wonder how the hell the "Abbos" -native peoples- are dealing with this?
Australia burns even more carbon per capita than even the US and is a large coal exporter but is at least beginning to seriously address it.
Any news from the RSN Aussie bods?
Read on: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20956421.
Any questions?
 
 
-6 # handmjones 2013-01-10 06:41
The 'Abbos' have been burning the bush annually for about 30,000 years. No worries!
 
 
+2 # reiverpacific 2013-01-10 16:13
Quoting handmjones:
The 'Abbos' have been burning the bush annually for about 30,000 years. No worries!

So did the American Indians -in controlled spells to head off worse major conflagrations but they knew what they were doing being close to the land.
I imagine that the "Abbo's" were the same.
Pity we can't learn from races who have always been wiser in the ways of the planet than we plunderers.
 
 
+5 # 4yourinformation 2013-01-09 16:49
Katrina and Sandy's BIG brothers and sisters are on their way in due time. Better get ready. Get off the coasts, especially the East coast. All the king's horses and men will not be putting Humpty Dumpty back together again.
 
 
+2 # unitedwestand 2013-01-09 23:09
My local ABC station had the report that 2012 was the hottest in recorded history. I listened with great anticipation, thinking they were going to say that perhaps global warming was real and we needed to do something about the burning fossil fuels. NO! Their summation was that scientist believed that it had something to do with normal cyclical geothermic phenomena and that there might be SOME reason to look into the contribution of green house gases, but nothing about getting off of oil and to promote clean, renewable energy.

I could see that the "talking heads" moderators didn't believe what they were made to report, but they earned their salary from big oil.
 
 
0 # skywatcher 2013-01-10 02:05
The thing that trumps everything else in this discussion is geoengineering. Although fossil fuels can't be helping, the greatest threat that each of us faces Every Day is geoengineering and chemtrails (and especially how they are connected [but not limited] to GMO's).

And if you've been previously inclined toward dismissing so-called 'conspiracy theories,' there is now an excellent, science-based documentary available free at youtube, "Why in the World Are They Spraying?" I urge you to watch that immediately--th en follow that by searching for talks from the recent conference "Consciousness Beyond Chemtrails".

We're nearing the tipping point, when this will be exposed, and governments will have to acknowledge what they're doing. ('on your behalf,' will assuredly be the explanation.)
 
 
-14 # FDRva 2013-01-10 02:40
If CO2 is a pollutant then I am the Shah of Iran.

American scientific illiteracy is showing even though we have risen to 24th in the world

The inconvenient truth here is that Wall Street wants to create a "green" financial bubble in carbon futures.

And the dumber among you will support them.
 
 
-10 # FDRva 2013-01-10 06:50
I have yet to meet a man-on-the-stre et who professes to "believe" in the dire effects of 'climate change' who can tell me what causes the change of seasons on planet Earth.

(Hint: It is not carbon dioxide/CO2. And it used to be taught to 3rd graders.)

Talk about an irrational religious belief...

Global Warming 'fundamentalism ,' like 'Creationism' is taught in way too many public schools.
 
 
+2 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-01-10 07:58
Hi, FDRva a.k.a. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi! And I was thinkin' that you was dead! These last thirty years ain't been so good to yuh, but nice to run in to you on this street!

The third graders (I used to teach 'em) here on the sidewalk with me can quickly tell you that warmth comes from the sun.

That warmth varies locally daily as the earth rotates (diurnality), over the year (seasonality) as the earth tilts ('bout 21 to 24 degrees).

Moving on to 8th-grade science, precession ('bout 20k year cycle) varies the orientation of the axial tilt. Obliquity ('bout 40k) accounts for that 21-24 degree wobble. Eccentricity ('bout 100k) shifts orbit from round to a tiny bit more egg-shaped.

Global Warming "fundamentalism " is rooted in the heat-trapping characteristics of CO2, or rather, in the immutable laws of physics.

Creationism flees from the slightest empirical test.

We're up to 394.39 ppm of CO2, and it's trapping that solar warmth. http://co2now.org/

You still look good in that uniform, Shah!
 
 
0 # FDRva 2013-02-11 02:39
Ray taught 3rd graders a long time ago.

And the Sun causes a lot more 'climate change' than all the SUVs ever built.

A generation ago many spoke of a new Ice Age in the offing. They were likely right. Does Ray remember?
 
 
+1 # handmjones 2013-01-10 08:10
It might also be informative to ask them which is the massively dominant GHG causing 95% of the greenhouse effect.
It would also be informative to ask them if they have examined the curve of temperatures starting in 1900 and tried to correlate the decadal movements with likely human emissions.
 
 
+1 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-01-10 09:35
handmjones,

Dominant GHG? Easy.

That's water vapor which varies markedly by time and region.

CO2, on the other hand, is consistent in ppm throughout the atmosphere. Reading at Mauna Loa, the Solomons, and in the Aleutians are remarkably close.

And the rising % of CO2 seems to be enough to raise water vapor reading by 4% over the last three decades.
 
 
0 # handmjones 2013-01-10 14:09
Rising temperature increases the CO2 in the atmosphere independent of any rise due to our emissions.
 
 
+1 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-01-10 16:38
handmjones, that's true... rising temperature increases the outgassing of CO2 from the ocean; rising temperature melts snow cover, decreasing the albedo and allowing the permafrost to thaw more deeply, thus releasing methane; rising temperature increases the atmosphere's carrying capacity of water vapor which is the most powerful of GHG.

True.

And stimulating these increases is the rise in our CO2 emisions.
 
 
0 # handmjones 2013-01-11 19:36
Ray...Read your note again. What water vapour reading? There is no such thing on a Worldwide basis. The published numbers are what they artificially add to the model when CO2 doesn't produce the necessary rise.
 
 
0 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-01-13 12:57
Handm,

I'm but an ol' retired middle school Spanish teacher, so climate study is not my forte. Instead, try Kevin Trenberth:

"...The air is on average warmer and moister than it was prior to about 1970 and in turn has likely led to a 5–10 % effect on precipitation and storms that is greatly amplified in extremes...."

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/03/25/451347/must-read-trenberth-how-to-relate-climate-extremes-to-climate-change/
 
 
+2 # Smokey 2013-01-10 07:16
[quote name="FDRva"]
"The inconvenient truth here is that Wall Street wants to create a "green" financial bubble in carbon futures."

You may be right about Wall Street and the "greening of the economy." I'm very wary of carbon trading schemes.

However: The global energy economy needs a radical overhaul. Climate change is real and it's a big problem that needs to be addressed. And there are a lot of other energy-related problems that need attention.

OCCUPY NOTE: Be wary of any "green scheme" that's eagerly endorsed by Wall Street. Creating more wealth for the wealthy won't solve environmental and economic problems. And be wary, also, of any environmental plan that doesn't address the basic problems of economic injustice.
 
 
+1 # NOMINAE 2013-01-10 17:45
@ FDRva

Yo ! Shah ! I hate to be the one to break it to you, but this consideration of CO2 has a LOT in common with the presence of WATER in the human environment.

While water *itself* is not a "bad"thing, TOO MUCH water will drown you. *Insufficient* amounts of water will quickly bring about your early demise as well.

See how it's kind of a PROPORTION thing ?

One can think of both water and atmospheric CO2 as the "Goldilocks" proportion. Not enough - bad news. Too much -
bad news. Just enough - "Juuuust RIGHT "

I hope that helps.
 
 
-8 # handmjones 2013-01-10 06:08
This article is predicated on the supposition that because the temperatures are up in the US the World is warming. Despite the US being the centre of the universe this is not necessarily true. For the latest measure of global warming see:
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/global-warming-has-stalled-since-1998-uk-met-office/1056899/
 
 
+1 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-01-10 19:21
Stalled since 1998? Handmjones, we're trending warmer:

Globally, 2012 was ninth warmest of the past 34 years.
In the U.S., 2012 sets a new record high temperature.

Global climate trend since November 1978: +0.14 °C per decade (0.25 °F). {Total since 1978 for December.

And this is from the University of Alamaba-Huntsvi lle's John Christy... a skeptic!

http://fabiusmaximus.com/2013/01/05/global-warming-47600/
 
 
+5 # eugene noel 2013-01-10 06:54
1) Taxing emissions directly, as Cole proposes, would be a lot better than ETS. But even better would be a carbon consumption tax, as Dieter Helm (The Carbon Crunch) recommends, and particularly on imported goods. Such taxation would not only incentivize low carbon consumption in the U.S., but would also give a powerful impulse to the Chinese (higher emissions than the U.S. and about 30% of GDP going to exports) to clean up their act quickly.

2) It's interesting to see that the overwhelming empirical as well as scientific evidence of ongoing catastrophic warming (e.g. Australia at this moment) and extreme weather (Sandy, two months ago) has no influence on the ritual appearance of the denial industry in blog comments.
 
 
-3 # FDRva 2013-01-10 07:20
On advice from my pal, George Soros, I have been buying anything on global stock markets even the least bit 'green.'

But if I know George he was probably selling the junk to me...
 
 
+4 # tapelt 2013-01-10 14:57
7. Plant trees, bamboo, etc. to pull CO2 out of the air.

8. Encourage people to grow their own food at home.

9. Encourage people to insulate and weatherstrip their homes.
 
 
0 # handmjones 2013-01-12 19:29
a few quotes:
Global warming has stalled since 1998, and in the next few years Earth's temperature will not rise as rapidly as feared, UK Met officials have claimed.

Over the next five years temperatures will be 0.43 degrees above the 1971-2000 average, instead of the previously forecast 0.54 degrees -- a 20 per cent reduction, the Met office in UK has confirmed.

This rise would be only slightly higher than the 0.4-degree rise recorded in 1998, an increase which is itself attributed by forecasters to an exceptional weather phenomenon, a media report said.
 
 
0 # handmjones 2013-01-13 12:53
a few quotes:

With all but 0.03 degrees of the increase having occurred by 1998, it means that no further significant increases to the planet's temperature are expected over the next few years.

The figures have been seized on by sceptics of man-made climate change, who claim that global warming has flatlined

despite a large rise in greenhouse emissions in recent decades.

"That the global temperature standstill could continue to at least 2017 would mean a 20-year period of no statistically significant change in global temperatures," Dr David Whitehouse, science adviser to the Global Warming Policy Foundation, said.

"Such a period of no increase will pose fundamental problems for climate models. If the latest Met Office prediction is correct, then it will prove to be a lesson in humility," Whitehouse said.

"Global warming is not 'at a standstill' but does seem to have slowed down since 2000, in comparison to the rapid warming of the world since the 1970s," Dr Richard Allan of the University of Reading said.
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN