Everyone will not just

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

squareallworthy:

If your solution to some problem relies on “If everyone would just…” then you do not have a solution. Everyone is not going to just. At not time in the history of the universe has everyone just, and they’re not going to start now.

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The fourth and final video in my series on sea level rise in…

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

The fourth and final video in my series on sea level rise in Carpinteria.

If you want to watch all four videos from the beginning, start here.

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I made another video about sea level rise in Carpinteria. This…

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

I made another video about sea level rise in Carpinteria. This one looks at what we can do about it.

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My latest video on sea level rise in Carpinteria is up now. I…

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

My latest video on sea level rise in Carpinteria is up now. I had fun making it.

If you’re a fan of Yulin/Zack/Sean/Mary Kate’s beautiful video of Auden’s “As I Walked Out One Evening”, you’ll recognize where I got my inspiration.

Reposted from http://ift.tt/2ngx75I.

I made a video (the first in a series of videos, hopefully)…

Monday, March 6th, 2017

I made a video (the first in a series of videos, hopefully) about sea level rise in Carpinteria, where I live. This one is about vulnerability.

Warning: Includes my face. 😜

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autismserenity: allthecanadianpolitics: mindblowingscience: Cl…

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

autismserenity:

allthecanadianpolitics:

mindblowingscience:

Climate Change is acting much faster than many have expected. Global sea ice is in a free fall compared to all other years on record.

Related article:

The North Pole is an insane 20 C warmer than normal as winter descends

While we’re on the topic of Climate Change, this post and article is worth reading (from my science blog above).

That’s 36 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it should be at this time of year. I’m especially troubled because my Actual News-Reading Friends are reacting to this with “wait but is that normal, or is it actually global warming?”

Which means that sources like the Washington Post are doing a terrible job of explaining what this actually means. Which is probably a huge part of why people are generally not very concerned about climate change, especially not compared to how bad the situation actually is.

The graph above shows that every single year on record, the amount of ice in the sea has grown and melted at about the same times and in the same amounts. Except this year, when suddenly, instead of a bunch of ice forming in fucking winter, it’s… Not. It’s remaining at summer levels, basically.

This is not just part of global warming, it IS global warming. This is the core of the whole thing. The amazing amounts of carbon dioxide that we’ve been dumping into the atmosphere at an increasing rate for the past 100 years have been trapping more and more heat inside the atmosphere.

This has finally reached the point of Horrible Vicious Cycle. Because when it gets too warm, the polar ice caps melt.

When they melt, the oceans become much warmer and more acidic and can’t sustain life well.

When the oceans get warmer, they stop helping cool the atmosphere. Having large bodies of cold water lying around is GOOD if you want an area to be cooler. Having large bodies of warm water lying around does fuck all for cooling anybody down.

The less the oceans help cool things, the more our carbon emissions affect the atmosphere. Because they’re no longer partly being counteracted by the oceans.

Which means global warming accelerates.

Which means ice melting accelerates.

Which means the oceans get even more fucked up.

Which means global warming accelerates even more.

The reaction to this should not be “wait but is this just a thing that happens, the newspaper didn’t really say,” it should be a massive, front page, global headline of “OH FUCKING SHIT.”

Seeing that graph in McKibbon’s tweet was the scariest thing I’ve seen in my twitter feed in… well… ever. It actually cut through all the other scary stuff I’ve seen there this month. And that’s saying something.

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“The currency in this democratic project is not knowledge, but trust. When trust is won and values…”

Saturday, September 3rd, 2016

“The currency in this democratic project is not knowledge, but trust. When trust is won and values affirmed, desired interpretations of facts and information follow.”

Robert R. M. Verchick in Culture, Cognition, and Climate

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smdxn: Why We Have to Act on Climate Now – In One…

Monday, December 21st, 2015

smdxn:

Why We Have to Act on Climate Now – In One Chart

The precipitous rise in carbon pollution is what’s driving climate change, leading to rising sea levels, more extreme drought, superstorms, wildfires, and public health problems across the world. No nation is immune to these consequences. Humans caused this rise in pollution and temperature, and it will take all of us to actually do something about it.

Also: why we are failing.

I find this chart both interesting and depressing. Not just for the data.. For the evidence it contains of the human shortcomings that stand in the way of our solving the problem. Because this chart is a lie.

I noticed it after a few seconds, because I’ve seen honest versions of this chart before. But the difference is subtle.

Hint: If you click through to the source page at whitehouse.gov the lie isn’t there. It was introduced in the Tumblr version of the chart, presumably by the person running @smdxn, presumably because they thought it made the image more impactful, more motivating. This version does a better job of promoting fear and concern, but it does so by deceiving you.

Did you find the lie?

It’s the label circled in red at the center of the chart. On the original version of the chart it says “Carbon Dioxide Levels”, because the red line it is labeling is the line with the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide readings. That’s the number that has trended steadily upward for the last century as humanity has systematically pumped CO2 into the atmosphere. (The chart smooths out the annual wiggle in the data as Northern Hemisphere foliage sucks up and releases carbon, but that’s a legitimate simplification that helps visualize the underlying trend.)

The gray bars represent the ice-core-derived global temperature readings, sometimes up, sometimes down, but generally upward. But that data is messier, reflecting the many complexities, some of them not yet fully understood, of the global climate system. It’s still trending upward, and we’re still fucked. But it’s not quite as obvious. Also, it doesn’t have that sexy red color that we’re evolutionarily predisposed to react to emotionally: bright red = scary/important.

So for this version of the chart @smdxn switched the label so it reads “Global Temperature.” They also removed the red coloring from the numbers along the right side of the chart, presumably because that helps sell the deception that the red line refers to temperature rather than to CO2. So now, at least from a quick glance, it looks like the red line shows global temperature tracking steadily and scarily upward. Omg! We need to do something!

For a committed partisan, that deception probably seemed justified. The fact that global temperature has been climbing in fits and starts means that dishonest people on the other side like to cherry-pick particular slices of time in which temperature has held steady or even fallen for a few years and make a big deal about it. If you’ve ever come across an Internet commenter attacking the comments section of an article with references to “the hiatus”, that’s what they were talking about. And that’s clearly dishonest and deceptive. You don’t do that kind of cherry-picking on accident. But neither do you re-label a graph to switch the meaning of the two sets of data it shows on accident. The person who did that here intended to deceive.

Why does it matter that some activist decided it was okay to make this chart deceptive rather than communicative? That it was more important that the person viewing it be alarmed than that they understand?

It matters because of the scale of the problem. As long as we’re fighting politics-as-usual battles with each other, we’re losing this war. There’s just no way to make the kinds of changes we need to make unless we have not just a scientific consensus, but a societal consensus. The kind of partisanship that @smdxn is engaging in by deceptively relabeling the chart works against achieving that consensus.

There’s a reason why a scientific consensus on this issue exists. Science has rules, and a process, and when you do it right it allows the truth to win out over noise and human bias and self-interest. Society as currently constituted doesn’t have that rule. Or it does, but it’s more of a fragile guideline, one that gets trampled underfoot as soon as partisans start doing their rugby scrum back and forth over it.

Partisans think it’s okay to lie as long as they’re lying in the service of their cause. That’s why Peter Gleick thought it was okay to forge a sexier, more evil-sounding “strategy memo” to be released along with the internal documents he’d stolen from The Heartland Institute. That’s why Roger Pielke, Jr., gets maligned as “one of them” for saying top-down carbon pricing solutions can’t work given political economy as it currently operates. That’s why Naomi Oreskes recently called it “denialism” for climate scientists to say nuclear power needs to be part of our strategy. In each of those cases, partisans are stooping to deception precisely because they are partisans, because they are engaged in battle, because the people on the other side are doing it too, and that gets them upset and clouds their judgement.

For a committed partisan, lies become just another tool in service to the cause.

It’s a mistake. As long as there are two sides to this issue, we lose. We need to understand each other, to listen to each other, if we’re going to solve this. Lying won’t get it done, and those who engage in it are deluding themselves. They’re not part of the solution. They’re part of the problem.

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1NytLR1.

This Unpronounceable, 12-Letter-Long Acronym Might Just Save the World

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

This Unpronounceable, 12-Letter-Long Acronym Might Just Save the World:

I’m pretty sure the world will still be here whether or not CBDRILONCWRC turns out to be anything more than a punchline. Human societies organized at their current scale and without a shared experience of recent collapse and megadeath: that’s more of an open question.

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it calls us like a phantomit touches like a breamit shines its…

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

it calls us like a phantom
it touches like a bream
it shines its understanding
see the moon smiling

open on all channels
ready to receive
we’re not at the mercy
of your shimmers and spells
your shimmers and spells
your shimmers and spells

(mmmmmm)

and we are of the earth
to her we do return
and the future is inside us
it’s not somewhere else
it’s not somewhere else
it’s not somewhere else

(one dayyyyyy)

one day at a time

(this is jonny’s bit, which I can’t play)

you called upon the people
people have the power

(whoops from crowd)

you called upon the people
people have this power
and the numbers don’t decide
the system is a lie
a river running dry
the wings of a butterfly

and you may pour us away like soup
like we’re pretty broken flowers
we’ll take back what is ours
we’ll take back what is ours

one day at a time

audio sources: zerockerparis and bennygoodtips

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the numbers don’t decideyour system is a lie

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

the numbers don’t decide
your system is a lie

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1TtlY8h.

ExxonMobil Knew

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

exxonknew:

At the moment I’m sitting in front of an ExxonMobil station in Burlington Vermont waiting to be arrested and feeling, frankly, a little silly.

But I’m doing it because I want people to read and share two news stories, and I figure this small gesture might be enough to move a few people to do so.  The stories come from teams of reporters at the Los Angeles Times, the Columbia Journalism School, and the Pulitzer-Prize winning Inside Climate News, and they demonstrate—exhaustively, undeniably, and appallingly—that ExxonMobil, the biggest and most powerful company on earth, knew all about climate change in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. The company had sophisticated computer models demonstrating exactly how fast the globe would warm, and its highest levels of management were clearly aware that this would be a severe problem for the planet. They even used this knowledge to bid on oil leases in the rapidly melting Arctic.

But they didn’t tell anyone. Instead, they lied—they helped fund institutes devoted to climate denial, and bankrolled politicians who fought against climate action. Their CEO—who had overseen much of the research—told Chinese leaders in 1997 that the globe was cooling and that they should go full-steam ahead with fossil fuel.

This is not just one more set of sad stories about our climate. In the 28 years I’ve been following the story of global warming, this is the single most outrageous set of new revelations that journalists have uncovered. Given its unique credibility—again, it was the biggest corporation on earth—ExxonMobil could have changed history for the better. Had it sounded the alarm—had it merely said ‘our internal research shows the world’s scientists are right’—it would have saved a quarter century of wheel-spinning. We might actually have done something as a world before the Arctic melted, before the coral reefs were bleached, before the cycles of drought and flood set fully in.

Instead, their silence and their lies—driven by nothing more than the desire to keep making money—helped disrupt the earth’s most critical systems. When people ask, how could our species have wrecked our planet, the memos and internal documents uncovered by these reporters offer a huge part of the answer. We wrecked the planet, in no small part, because we were lied to by the most powerful institutions on that planet.

And so here I sit. I don’t have any great hope this action of mine will change anything practical. I fear that no one is likely to prosecute Exxon—they’re too big and too powerful. And for that matter it wouldn’t undo the damage. I know that we can’t rally enough Americans to boycott Exxon to make more than a token dent in their endless profits, and that even if we did those profits would flow to some other oil giant whose deeds are yet to be uncovered. Indeed, I know that most of the gas stations that say Exxon or Mobil on the sign aren’t even owned by the company. I know that none of this is the fault of the local franchisees—I gave the folks who run this station a hundred bucks before I sat down in hopes that my small protest won’t cost them too much in income.

I also know that there are clever and cynical people who will wave off these stories by saying, ‘of course, we knew that all along. That’s just how the world works.’ Or they will say, ‘it’s not Exxon’s fault; we all use fossil fuels.’ These clever people are the cousins of the cynics who worked at ExxonMobil; their knowingness is a cover for inaction. Exxon didn’t act when its actions could have changed the course of history; that’s not true of the rest of us.

My only real hope is that this gesture of mine will lead a few more people to read these pieces of reporting before they disappear into what my wife correctly and despairingly called the overwhelming clutter of our digital culture. I don’t want you to sign a petition, add your name to a mailing list, send money to a kickstarter. Just to read.  I guess I figure that some people will say: if it’s important enough to someone to get arrested, I can spare ten minutes to read the story.

Perhaps this understanding will lead more people to join in the movement for fossil fuel divestment, or to oppose giant new oil projects, or to take away government subsidies from dirty energy. That would be good—I’ve spent much of my life on those battles, and will keep at them with my colleagues at 350.org and throughout the climate justice movement. It would help in every battle that matters if the Exxons of the world had less credibility and less power.

But even if these stories simply lead to more understanding without any practical consequence, that seems worthwhile.  People are dying already around the world from the effects of climate change, people who never burned a gallon of oil in their lives. Everyone who comes after us will inhabit a planet much less vibrant than the one we were born into. My daughter graduates from college this spring, and she inherits this world that Exxon did so much to break. They—and all of us–deserve at least to know the truth.

Here are the stories I’ve been referring to:

http://ift.tt/1L4qaJ6

http://ift.tt/1j0Lrdh

Sincerely,

Bill McKibben

P.S.—if others elsewhere want to repeat this small gesture, please do it peacefully, and respectfully.

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republicandoorknob: greenthepress: Great graphic from…

Friday, August 21st, 2015

republicandoorknob:

greenthepress:

Great graphic from InsideClimate News. The media should always be fact-checking candidates’ climate denial…

Unfortunately, media are continuing to let candidates get away with their denial, including just yesterday on Meet The Press. This trend needs to stop. 

Both parties are not the same. Republicans are denying science for political reasons.

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“We are in an age of climate change and mass extinction and much of this is irreversible. This is…”

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

“We are in an age of climate change and mass extinction and much of this is irreversible. This is what we were given to live through. To be able to look at what the human machine is doing to this living world without feeling grief or despair is an impossibility for anyone who experiences normal human emotions. Grief is not only a natural reaction to the state of the world today, it is a useful one. It is something that should be navigated and understood and accepted and discussed. Like the death of a loved one, the current death of much that is good in the world is something that can’t be denied or wished away: it has to be lived with. It doesn’t follow from that that nothing good will ever happen again, or that you can be of no use in the world.”

paulkingsnorth, Five years on a Mountain

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“But there is a space between hope and despair, which it is necessary to inhabit.”

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

“But there is a space between hope and despair, which it is necessary to inhabit.”

paulkingsnorth, Five years on a Mountain

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“I feel I have to respond to all of this by giving up hope, so that I can instead find some measure…”

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

“I feel I have to respond to all of this by giving up hope, so that I can instead find some measure of reality. So I’ve let hope fall away from me, and wishful thinking too, and I feel much lighter. I feel now as if I am able to look more honestly at the way the world is, and what I can do with what I have to give, in the time I have left. I don’t think you can plan for the future until you have really let go of the past.”

paulkingsnorth, from http://ift.tt/WD9pAh

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“I used to be something of a skeptic about climate change. I have a Ph.D in meteorology. I know how…”

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

I used to be something of a skeptic about climate change. I have a Ph.D in meteorology. I know how complicated the weather system is and how difficult it is to predict accurately the weather even a few days in advance.

But climate is not about predictions of a specific day’s weather months or years in the future. It’s understanding the trends: hotter or colder, wetter or drier, trends in sea level rise and in severe storms.

Over the years, scientific findings on climate change have built to the point where we simply cannot afford to ignore them. And this is true no matter what your politics might be. The climate doesn’t care about politics.

Rear Admiral (ret.) David W. Titley, Climate change threatens national security

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These 5 charts show why the world is still failing on climate change – Vox

Friday, June 20th, 2014

These 5 charts show why the world is still failing on climate change – Vox:

There’s (rightly) a lot of talk these days about climate-change denialism on the right. It’s problematic that so many people are letting their ideology color their perceptions in a way that causes them to minimize the problem.

But it’s not just Fox News viewers who are letting what they want to believe get in the way of understanding the true nature of what’s happening. I wish more people working to address the issue of climate change were honest enough to pay attention to Roger Pielke, Jr.

“Oh, we don’t like what that man is saying. It is challenging to my worldview. Therefore I will denigrate and dismiss him.”

Sigh. Our public discourse around this issue is badly polluted by tribalistic cultural-identity concerns, and not just on one side.

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“Studying things from a psychological angle does help to make sense of climate-change scepticism. But…”

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

“Studying things from a psychological angle does help to make sense of climate-change scepticism. But the true source of the problem, research suggests, is not that people are irrational. Instead, it is that their reasoning powers have become disabled by a polluted science-communication environment.”

Dan Kahan, Why we are poles apart on climate change

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dendroica: A Few Winners, But Many More Losers With Climate…

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

dendroica:

A Few Winners, But Many More Losers With Climate Change in the Southwest

Dramatic distribution losses and a few major distribution gains are forecasted for southwestern bird and reptile species as the climate changes, according to just-published research by scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of New Mexico, and Northern Arizona University.

Overall, the study forecasted species distribution losses – that is, where species are able to live – of nearly half for all but one of the 5 reptile species they examined, including for the iconic chuckwalla. The threatened Sonoran (Morafka’s) desert tortoise, however, is projected to experience little to no habitat losses from climate change.

Breeding bird ranges exhibited greater expansions and contractions than did reptile species. For example, black-throated sparrows and gray vireos are projected to experience major gains in breeding habitat, but pygmy nuthatches, sage thrashers and Williamson sapsuckers are forecasted to experience large losses in breeding habitat, in some cases by as much as 80 percent. Thus, these three species might be expected to experience large future population declines. The iconic pinyon jay is expected to experience from one-fourth to one-third loss in breeding habitat in the future, as its welfare is tied to declining pinyon pine habitat.

“Not surprisingly, whether a species is projected to be a winner or a loser depends primarily on its natural history and habitat needs and requirements,” said USGS scientist Charles van Riper III, the lead author on the study. “Land managers should be aware of these potential changes so that they can adjust their management practices accordingly.”

On birds:

Overall: Black-throated sparrow and gray vireo are projected to experience major gains in breeding habitat. In contrast, pygmy nuthatches, sage thrashers and Williamson sapsuckers are projected to experience large losses in breeding habitat. Thus, these three species might be expected to experience large future population declines. (Note: species are linked to their in-depth report summaries.)

  • Black-throated sparrow: breeding range projected to increase by 34-47 percent between 2010 and 2099.
  • Gray vireo: breeding range projected to increase from 58-71 percent between 2010 and 2099.
  • Virginia’s warbler: breeding range projected to decrease slightly, by 1.5-7 percent between 2010 and 2099.
  • Sage thrasher: breeding range projected to decrease by 78 percent between 2010 and 2099.
  • Pinyon jay: breeding range projected to decrease by 25-31 percent between 2010 and 2099.
  • Pygmy nuthatch: breeding range projected to decrease by 75-81 percent between 2010 and 2099
  • Williamson’s sapsucker: breeding range projected to decrease by 73-78 percent between 2010-2099.

(Read more: USGS Release)

Image: Pygmy Nuthatch / National Park Service

Pygmy nuthatches are really neat birds. I hope they make it through the Anthropocene funnel. A world without them would be a poorer world.

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