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Comments 951 to 1000:

  1. Stop blaming ‘both sides’ for America’s climate failures

    michael sweet and Bob Loblaw,

    I did not want to get back into a discussion of sea level rise until I had further information in front of me.  Obviously, a lawyer even trying to discuss "sea level" rise is problematic and I appreciate this (but it seems there is a judge in San Francisco who has just asked each side to present a brief on climate change as part of one of these actions against oil companies).  But I only replied to michael sweet accusing me of avoiding the issue and moving onto Pinker notwithstanding that I specifically said in one comment that I would reply to michael sweet when I had further information.  michael sweet in fairness may have missed this.

    So again, I will defer any further comments on sea level rise. 

    But I think I should address this desire of michael sweet to bar me from any participation on this website unless my comments are backed up by "peer reviewed" papers.  Does this mean that there can be no criticism of the Nerem 2018 paper unless it is backed up by a peer reviewed paper that criticizes the results or methodology of the Nerem 2018 paper?

    And, if the answer to that is "no", then what is the standard?

    PS  There is a JimD on the Curry website who is light years ahead of me in technical expertise who regularly posts questions and comments which drive Robert Ellison and other regulars on that site crazy. There are constant requests for Judith Curry to prohibit his comments.  Judith Curry does not even respond to any such requests.  Not that I compare myself to JimD in any way but I respect this website for also not responding to michael sweet's entreaties.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB]  If you are unwilling or unable to support your claims on SLR with citations to credible sources, then it is suggested that you avoid discussing the subject further.  And all formerly contesting with you on the topic are then entitled to claim the silence as a concession of the weakness of your previous position.

  2. New scenarios show how the world could limit warming to 1.5C in 2100

    Have to say that I regard this as being about as likely as managing to fly to the moon by flapping my arms. 

    I suspect that it will not be too very long before the destabilized climate destabilizes food and water supplies and consequently nations. 

    This is not a base from which we will be able to easily develop technology needed to go negative on CO2 or indeed manage to reach zero net emissions.  I may be wrong, but as of today I know of no economical and effective CCS technologies that I would trust to deliver the needed boost. 

    The only hopeful signs I see are the development of the low lignin superwood that could allow us to use trees to replace steel and other materials with a material that locks the carbon up for a longer period.

     https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180207151829.htm

    ...and the artificial leaf that gets CO2 and turns it into fuel .. so not getting the sequestration... but getting some other advantages

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601641/a-big-leap-for-an-artificial-leaf/

    ...but I expect economic and social pressures to limit our ability to handle the period between 2030 and 2050 and retain anything much like our current civilization.  The emissions will indeed fall off a cliff, but not in any sort of controlled crash... just the crash we all fear is coming.

  3. Stop blaming ‘both sides’ for America’s climate failures

    [Sigh]

    Once again, NorrisM pulls out the "projected linear increase" for sea level.

    Once again, the answer is that there is no reason in physics to expect that a linear trend will be the future. The projections of sea level rise are not based on a simple statistical extrapolation of past observations.

    NorrisM has absolutely no justification for assuming that the future path will be linear. He keeps arguing that he doesn't see a justification for acceleration. He keep ignoring the fact that there is no justification for assuming a linear trend to 2100.

    Until he does provide an argument for why a linear trend would be expected, then he should stop talking about it.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB]  Agreed.

  4. How blogs convey and distort scientific information about polar bears and Arctic sea ice

    Or ImaginaryNumber could provide a brief summary of what he thinks is convincing in Crockford's writings, or why the many links he's been given do not provide him with any information about the lack of credibility of Crockford's wiritings.

    Until then, he's just hand-waving. I've read enough about Crockford's work to make up my mind, and chasing rainbows for ImaginaryNumber is not on my list of priorities.

    "I am, however, playing Devil's Advocate"

    It's not working. You are looking more and more like a troll. A Devil's Advocate would actually present a case, not send people chasing squirrels.

  5. How blogs convey and distort scientific information about polar bears and Arctic sea ice

    ImaginaryNumber @ 49

    Why don't you give some links to just a few of your thousands of posts on climate change issues? That should be sufficient to allay any doubts. 

  6. Burning coal may have caused Earth’s worst mass extinction

    Aleks @10

    "Can high level of mercury and lead in the rock samples be considered as a proof of coal burning? I don't think so: it could be a result of thermal decomposition of lead and mercury containing minerals during volcanoes eruptions."

    I doubt it.  The concentrations in the actual rock samples they found are apparently higher than expected to naturally occur. The research team almost certainly would have considered the possibility you describe, and looked at concentrations of lead and mercury you would expect from volcanic igneous rocks breaking down, against the samples they actually found. 

    Also the featured article says "Lead and mercury aren't associated with volcanic ash, but they are a byproduct of burning coal."  

  7. Burning coal may have caused Earth’s worst mass extinction

    Aleks @10

    "The statement about the combustion of large quantities of coal in the Permian period is not confirmed by CO2 concentration data (~210 ppm):http://www.biocab.org/Carbon_Dioxide_Geological_Timescale.html"

    This biocarb study in an "open access" journal  has a graph using old data with quite a lot of uncertainty, and the graph is a snapshot of permian C02 levels over 50 million of years within the space of only about 1 centimetre on the page, so would probably omit any spikes over short periods. It does however still show a gradual increase in CO2 levels towards the end of the permian.

    The new study on the Permian issue is more up to date. It also finds the injection of CO2 was over a period of just 10,000 years so It would also  not necessarily show up in the biocarb study even if they had this data, because the period is so small. The group also analyzed carbon-isotope data from rocks in southern China and found that within the same period, the oceans and atmosphere experienced a large influx of carbon dioxide. So they have specific evidence.

    news.mit.edu/2011/mass-extinction-1118

    science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2011/11/16/science.1213454

  8. Burning coal may have caused Earth’s worst mass extinction

    We could give the Permian a good run for it's money in terms of extinctions.  As man arrived in each previoudly man-less territory, the mega fauna and much of the smaller beasties disappeared.  One of the early ones was Australia, some 50,000 years ago and the most recent, New Zealand some 700 years ago, a period which is a blink of the eye in geological terms.  We are now finishing off the job.  We may go along with the mega fauna and the world will evolve a whole new assemblage of animals.  I wonder why we call ourselves intelligent.

  9. ImaginaryNumber at 03:42 AM on 14 March 2018
    How blogs convey and distort scientific information about polar bears and Arctic sea ice

    Thank you all for your comments and patience. I've read at least part of all the links given, and many of the links within the links. Before I get back to what brought me to this blog, first some explanatory statements.

    1) I am not a scientist. Reading through scientific papers is slow work for me. There may be critical points that I've missed. Please feel free to help me out if I've made egregious misunderstandings.

    2) Over the past few years I've made many thousands of posts on various social media sites advocating for greater awareness and concern for climate change issues.

    3) On a number of occasions I've been happy to use information from SKS to bolster my arguments. Thank you to John Cook and all the many other talanted scientists and writers who have made this such a helpful site.

    4) Dispite suggestions to the contrary, I didn't come to this blog with the intention of shilling for Crockford. I am, however, playing Devil's Advocate and arguing her point of view because I need to understand any flaws in her argument so to have an intelligent discussion with the climate change deniers I am having a conversation with.

    5) Surprisingly, and dissappointingly, very little of the discussion thus far has addressed the specifics of Pagano's paper, or of Crockford's response. (post #39) Maybe it's because you didn't actually read and think about their papers?

    (So that this post won't be too long I will stop here, and create another post with some of the specifics of what I've found reading the papers and links.)

    Moderator Response:

    [DB]  Yes, it's time for an evidence-based based approach for your position, grounded in the reputable literature and using citations.

  10. Burning coal may have caused Earth’s worst mass extinction

    Typing on a cell phone is a dreadful undertaking. Proofreading is even more difficult. Now I'm revisiting my post on a ten inch tablet. I see that subscripting on my phone was a no-go. Can't get them to work on the tablet either. I''m sure readers were able to get past the typos in my first post, but here are few nearly-corrections anyway:

    CO2, H2S, and H2SO4,

  11. Burning coal may have caused Earth’s worst mass extinction

    I don't see a need for coal deposits in contact with magma to burn (oxidize) below the surfsce since the magma itself provides its own source of intense heat. With contact (or even a near miss!) large portion of the coal would be volatilized in a process similar to coal "gasification". The volatiles will work their way up through fractures and pores in overlying strata to enter the atmosphere as "coal gas",  mostly methane in combination with other hydrocarbons, water vapor, CO², H2S and H²SO⁴. The same catastrophic result as burning, but no oxygen required.

  12. Burning coal may have caused Earth’s worst mass extinction

    “The culprit: burning coal”.
    Can high level of mercury and lead in the rock samples be considered as a proof of coal burning? I don't think so: it could be a result of thermal decomposition of lead and mercury containing minerals during volcanoes eruptions.
    “Its sulfur emissions created acid rain to kill forests”. More exactly, sulfur dioxide, not sulfur. SO2 is a toxic gas that may kill both vegetable and animal life, especially together with acid rains, and also acidify water (much more than CO2).
    The statement about the combustion of large quantities of coal in the Permian period is not confirmed by CO2 concentration data (~210 ppm):
    http://www.biocab.org/Carbon_Dioxide_Geological_Timescale.html

  13. michael sweet at 21:19 PM on 13 March 2018
    Stop blaming ‘both sides’ for America’s climate failures

    Norrism:

    If you believe that the only way to get a carbon tax is to take money from the majority of people who are low income and give that money to the rich go for it.  I doubt that the majority of people would vote for a tax increase on themselves to subsidize the people who are responsible for the problem.

    I have provided you with peer reviewed data  that shows the majority of scientists studyinig sea level rise think that the IPCC estimate is much too low.  You have just failed to read the data provided to you.  Instead you waste your time at Curries blog.  Curry has published nothing on sea level rise and is not an expert.  

    Expected sea level rise by 2100 is at least 1-2 meters.  Scientists are very confident that your 11 inches will be exceeded and are worried that sea level might be 8 feet or more.  That means it is much more likely we will see 8 feet than 11 inches.  Upthtread Rignot, one of the top glacier scientists in the world, was recorded saying he thought at least 3 meters during the lives of people now living was likely and over a meter during his life was possible.  

    Planning for the best imaginable case as you are doing for sea level rise and than claiming we should act on the worst imiganable case for economic effects is illogical and contradictory.   You have provided no data to support your contradictory claims.  Using Curries estimates instead of an expert like Rignot is simply stupid.  

    NorrisM should not be allowed to post until he provides data to support his contradictory claims.

    When you post on the same topic on different threads it becomes impossible to follow the thread of the discussion.

  14. Stop blaming ‘both sides’ for America’s climate failures

    NorrisM @40

    I'm not sure on what basis option 3 is a wealth transfer any differently to your preferred option 2. Both take from fossil fuel companies etc and give to the citizens one way or the other. The carbon tax and dividend just does it most fairly, by treating everyone the same.

    I'm not too sure that even option 2 based purely around income tax changes will be too popular with either politicians or the public, because the inequities highlighted by M Sweet are so obvious and glaring perhaps even to plenty of republicans. I take your point in suggesting avoiding some form of economic restructuring exercise in general climate change matters, but its hard to avoid in this particular case, and its on small scale. And nobody is suggesting the rich be excluded from a dividend. Ultimately the public will come around to the best option overall, which is likely to be option 3.

    Option 3 is also far more flexible, because if the carbon price changes as is likely, it's much easier  to adjust a rebate than income tax law. When ideas are intrinsically good, its usually because they have a range of merits.

  15. Stop blaming ‘both sides’ for America’s climate failures

    NorrisM @38

    Regarding Nemes sea level rise paper. The IPCC Isn't  going to care too much about Judith Curries and other peoples blog entries or "essays" because they are just informal opinion. They will only care about published peer reviewed sea level rise papers, and there's other such papers raising concerns about possible rapd sea level rise such as by J Hansen. I think you will definitely see the next IPCC report change sea level rise predictions upwards.

    And given the grave consequences of sea level rise over 1 metre, even if probabilities are low, it would be amazingly reckless to be unconcerned.

    So what if Nermes paper relies on 6 years of topex data and issues around Pinatubo? In what way are these insignificant and / or not appropriate to include?  They are facts, they are there, so need to be considered even if they are inconvenient for "sceptics".

  16. Burning coal may have caused Earth’s worst mass extinction

    It's also important to point out that changing the global environment with the continued massive emissions of greenhouse gases as has happened in the past is not the only impact that is reordering and impoverishing the biosphere.

    There is also urbanization, industrial monoculture, industrial fishing, forestry and more.

    The extinction event we are currently forcing is going to happen much faster than in the past because it is multi-tiered and leaves no ecosystem on the Earth intact.

    Ending massive fossil fuel use is just the start of a process that must occur to mitigate the sixth great ectinction.

  17. Stop blaming ‘both sides’ for America’s climate failures

    nigelj, michael sweet and OPOF

    As for carbon taxes, unless I am missing one, there are really only three (3) options relating to the use of the taxes: (1) keep them in government coffers (this one branches off into a mulitude of possible uses), (2) reduce other forms of taxes equal to the amount taxed, largely through a reduction of income tax, either personal, corporate or both, or (3) distribute the taxes to all citizens by way of a form of refund or dividend which would be to every adult in the country. 

    As usual, I tend to like to focus on what is doable given the political realities existing in most modern democracies which are composed of voters all over the political spectrum.  With a leftist government (as we now have in BC), it seems that they are going to keep it going for option 1 when the previous government had promised it would be option 2.  But in most countries, to appease the conservative voters, this is simply not an option.  So we are left with options 2 and 3.  In my view, the only practical one is option 2 which reduces other taxes and is "revenue neutral".  Conservative voters may be conservative but they are not dumb.  The distribution of the carbon taxes by way of a dividend as in option 3 would be a massive wealth transfer.  Do you seriously think they would approve this?  That is exactly why Washington state opted for option 2.

    I trust Pinker would echo my analysis for the same reasons. Political reality.  As soon as you go for option 3 you are mixing climate change with other political and economic issues and we have the stillborn result in Washington state.

    Is it not better to have a carbon tax which is revenue neutral by way of a reduction of income taxes?  I appreciate that this will hurt the poor, many people have said that reducing carbon use will hurt the poor.  In our advanced countries we can at least institute some form of carbon tax rebate for the poor.

    But this worry about corporations not reducing their carbon use because their taxes will be reduced I think is misguided.  The carbon tax will have the effect of imposing a price on fossil fuels that will then allow other forms of energy to more easily compete with fossil fuels.  What percentage of the total income generated by corporations in the US is allocable to oil and gas corporations?  I would hazard a guess that it is less than 10% (this assumes Google et al pay income taxes in the US).    

  18. Stop blaming ‘both sides’ for America’s climate failures

    Correction: Mount Pinatubo

  19. Stop blaming ‘both sides’ for America’s climate failures

    michael sweet @ 34

    I have not ignored our discussion regarding sea levels. 

    I have made it clear that I have been waiting for the last instalment on sea level rise on another website before I respond to you because I would like to have as much technical information as I can before I explain where I am on sea level rise.  I have my doubts about the Nerem 2018 paper and how much it will be followed by the IPCC in its next assessment for reasons that I have not fully discussed only because my understanding is that the last instalment of the Judith Curry essays on sea level rise is expected to address the Nerem 2018 paper.  Some of the blogs on the earlier instalments on her website have effectively said that if you eliminated the reliance by Nerem on the adjustments to the first 6 years of the TOPEX satellite measurements and removed the assumptions about what sea level rise would have occurred without Mt Pitabo (sp) eruption it would eliminate all of the acceleration.  Fuerthermore another blogger has said that Nerem's method of removing ENSO is patently wrong.  I want to hear what Judity Curry has to say about Nerem in the body of one of her instalments rather than rely on a couple of the bloggers who do sound like they know something about climate science.   I will get back to you on this as soon as this last instalment appears.

    So right now for 2100 we are at a projected linear increase of about 11" if the present rate holds, with Nerem's adjustments, we are at around 26" and the IPCC at 1-3 feet and the US Climate Report at 1-4 feet with what can only be described as an outlier suggestion that we cannot rule out 8 feet but refusing to risk this outlier.  Having said this their risk analysis of sea levels increasing beyond 4.9 feet lies around 1.3%  so why they would even mention 8 feet in the Executive Summary makes me pause to wonder why (See Charts 12.1 and 12.4).  According to their own classifications, such a chance is either "Extremely Unlikely" of "Exceptionally Unlikely".  Take your pick.  

    So I would appreciate it if we could stick to the best estimates for now.  But I would really ask that we just put this on hold until I have read the last instalment of Curry.  It may or may not help but I would like to see what she has to say about Nerem before I make any futher comments on projections about sea level rise.

  20. One Planet Only Forever at 13:47 PM on 13 March 2018
    Stop blaming ‘both sides’ for America’s climate failures

    NorrisM

    In your comment @28 you state "Reading in Pinker's book that Naomi Klien led a group successfully opposing a carbon tax in the State of Washington astounded me. She objected to it according to Pinker because it did not punish the polluters enough."

    Then after I provide a link to what Klein actually did say, then @30 you provide the quote from Pinker "In one of the most surreal episodes in the history of environmental politics, Klein joined the infamous David and Charles Koch, the billionaire oil industrialists and bankrollers of climate change denial, in helping to defeat a 2016 Washington state ballot initiative that would have implemented the nation's first carbon tax, the policy which almost every analyst endorses as a prerequisite to dealing with climate change."

    After reading what Naomi Klein was saying, which would mean taxes on carbon in Washington State with reduction of taxes on Washington State businesses which would exclude the Koch businesses and could trigger similar actions in other states, you failed to see that Pinker did not fully correctly represent what had happened. And Klein's presented position clarified legitimate effective carbon tax in a way that the quote from Pinker does not clarify.

    Implying Klein 'joined or led' the Koch brothers in that action is like saying that Nicaragua 'joined' the USA in opposition to the Paris Agreement (Nicaragua opposed the Paris agreement for being too weak, going too easy on the ones creating the problem). Klein's motivation was understandably very different from the motivation of the Koch Brothers. And Motive is what Matters (Help vs. Harm).

  21. How blogs convey and distort scientific information about polar bears and Arctic sea ice

    Bob Loblaw @47 , you are far too cynical in your supposition about the "protesting too much".    Me — when I am phoning the VD clinic about some new symptoms, I am always enquiring on behalf of a friend.  Truly and always.

    ImaginaryNumber, there is almost no overlap in the positions of the scientific blogs versus the denier blogs, in regard to polar bears.  Why do you suppose that might be ?

    And why is there almost no overlap between Dr Crockford's position and the position of the mainstream scientists ?

    The polar bear scientific experts dismiss Dr Crockford & her ideas, not for the reason that she lacks formal credentials in that area, nor for her failing to be among the "inner group" of mainstream scientists.   Nor do they dismiss her for her lack of appropriate publications in the appropriate peer-reviewed journals.

    Nor do the scientists dismiss her for being a contrarian, nor for having red hair.

    The scientists dismiss her ideas, because she is wrong.

    It is that simple.

    (The question of her receiving money/benefits for promoting "Fake News" propaganda, is a somewhat separate issue.   And please note that a friend of mine considers her actions as morally repugnant even in the absence of any transactions from Heartland, Koch, GWPF, etc. )

  22. Burning coal may have caused Earth’s worst mass extinction

    Burning Mountain in Australia has an underground coal seam  that has been burning for 6000 years, the oldest known coal seam fire, so just enough air must get in to keep it smouldering. It may have started with a lightening strike, or forest fire igniting part of the exposed seam.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_Mountain

    Large volumes of methane are associated with coal seams, that probably adds to the combustion process producing more CO2.

  23. One Planet Only Forever at 11:26 AM on 13 March 2018
    Stop blaming ‘both sides’ for America’s climate failures

    NorrisM@30,

    My latest comment was extended but consistent with my previous commenting on this site.

    You appear to have a habit of misunderstanding what others say or 'understanding but misrepresenting' what they say.

  24. Burning coal may have caused Earth’s worst mass extinction

    Here is a Wikipedia entry on a coal mine fire that  has been smouldering for over 55 years. The second paragraph says "The fire is burning in underground coal mines at depths of up to 300 feet (90 m) over an 8-mile (13 km) stretch of 3,700 acres (15 km2). At its current rate, it could continue to burn for over 250 years.".

    Granted, a coal mine included a way of getting air in, but clearly the burial hasn't snuffed it out. A large number of such fires would produce a large amount of CO2. Even if it's over hundreds of years, that's a blink of an eye in geological terms.

  25. Burning coal may have caused Earth’s worst mass extinction

    It's also possible that the end Cretaceous extinction event that involved the loss of about 70% of species in a small time frame is also in part the result of vastly accelerated volcanism in the Deccan Traps in what is now India.

    Asteroid impact, volcanism one two punch

    The impactor that created the Chicxulub crater would have produced seimic waves of 11 to 12 on the Richter scale at the site of impact, 10 at the location directly opposite on the Earth's surface and between 8 and 9 everywhere else.

    The evidence seems to point to a liquifaction of the surface at the Deccan Traps which caused a massive pulse of volcanism releasing huge amounts of gases that greatly increased the climate change that was already underway globally and seen in the reduction in numbers of major species like the dinosaurs long before the impact.

  26. Burning coal may have caused Earth’s worst mass extinction

    Another way of looking at it is that the Great Dying gave rise to new forms of life, including hominids and eventually us. The next one will make way for something else. Perhaps this is what Alexa was laughing about. 

    I suggest we preserve kittens and beagles, perhaps in geo-time capsules. Everything else can be left to chance.*

    *No that is not meant seriously, there is no such movie magic technology, etc. 

  27. Burning coal may have caused Earth’s worst mass extinction

    "It took about 10 million years for life on Earth to recover from this catastrophic event."

    Is that on the species level, from what I've read it took up to 100 million years to recover biological diversity at the Family level?

  28. Burning coal may have caused Earth’s worst mass extinction

    Active link to Large Igneous Provinces page;

    Large Igneous Provinces

  29. One Planet Only Forever at 09:56 AM on 13 March 2018
    Stop blaming ‘both sides’ for America’s climate failures

    NorrisM,

    With the following in mind, I look forward to seeing a Good Reasoned, Well Justified summary of the awareness and understanding presented by Pinker. Note, I require Good Reason to Feel Good. I cannot be party to any party or group that encourages people to Feel Good about pursuing activities that understandably create negative effects that others have to deal with.

    I prefer to increase my awareness and understanding by reading a diversity of perspectives. I especially like to critically read the compiled better understanding of groups of people who have worked collectively and collaboratively through the years to develop a robust and thorough awareness and understanding of what is going on, developing a robust emergent truth.

    I learned to do that as a Professional Engineer constantly pursuing increased awareness and understanding related to my work. That including reading and critically understanding developed Standards and Design Codes related to my work, and questioning the Feel Good claims made by product sales people.

    My recommended reading list related to the understanding and application of climate science includes the following UN related documents presenting developed increased awareness and better understanding: 1972 Stockholm Conference (and the related UN Sustainable Development webpage), The 1987 UN report "Our Common Future", The IPCC reports, the UNISDR Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR), "Back to Our Common Future", and ultimately The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    These documents do not 'get it wrong by blaming both sides'. Generic, open to interpretation, emotional-trigger terms like Liberal-Conservative or Left-Right, or the names of any political groups are not used. They are all written from the perspective of helpful-harmful (see my other comments on this article).

    My evaluation of things is guided by my developed awareness and understanding of the Emergent Truth of the need for humanity to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    The SDGs are the result of international pursuits of increased and improved awareness and understanding of how to make things better for the future of humanity. The IPCC summaries of understanding of climate science are a sub-set of the broad range of improved awareness and understanding (emergent truths) that have been internationally developed over the past 50 years and incorporated in the SDGs.

    International efforts to better understand what humans were developing led to the first formal international compilation of awareness and understanding in the 1972 Stockholm Conference <Insert both links - SD and the Report>. More international efforts in many fields followed.

    In 1987, “Our Common Future” was produced. That improved understanding reinforced the results of the October 1985 meeting in Villach, Austria, organized by the WMO, UNEP, and ICSU leading to the 1988 establishment of the IPCC. It also significantly influenced the 1992 Earth Summit (the follow-up to the 1972 Stockholm Conference). And it led to additional actions including the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR) process.

    The collective international pursuits of increased awareness and better understanding, including “Back to Our Common Future” <Insert Link> published in 2012, all led to the compilation of understanding that is the emergent truth of the SDGs requiring global leadership to responsibly develop sustainable improvements for humanity, and undo/correct harmful developments.

    The SDGs are an undeniably robust and defend-able set of objectives for development of leadership into the future. Efforts to delay the increased global awareness and understanding of the need to act rapidly to correct unsustainable and harmful developments can clearly be seen to be 'Poor Excuses designed to Feel Good', not be based on good reason.

    As for throwing out the Good with the Bad, I agree. The corrections need to happen in ways that improve the life circumstances of the least fortunate. That is why it is important for all of the SDGs to be aggressively pursued and achieved, not just some of them. And the actions are not to be 'limited to a rate or to a degree that does not diminish incorrectly developed perceptions of prosperity or opportunity'.

    The SDGs all need to be Really achieved. The creation of temporary unsustainable perceptions of achievement among a portion of current day humanity who unjustifiably want to Feel Good about things is not 'success'.

    If Pinker's presentation points out the need for significant correction of the socioeconomic-political systems to occur in a direction aligned with rapidly achieving all of the SDGs then full marks for getting it Right. And bonus marks for presenting it in a way that will potentially be accepted by a diversity of people. However, if Pinker simply believes that future generations will 'continue an Enlightenment of figuring things out in the future' then he deserves no accolades.

    This is not a 'Glass half-empty or half-full' difference of opinion or philosophy. This is a matter of critically understanding if there is any sustainable improvement of circumstances for the less fortunate or for the benefit of the future of humanity. What is required is a blunt assessment of whether harm is being done to Others, something that cannot be justified no matter how much benefit the ones benefiting believe they get compared to how much harm they think they are doing, or how confident they are in the ability of others to deal with the challenges being created.

    Feeling Good about personal waste disposal used to be limited to the waste no longer being seen or smelled by the people feeling good about its disposal. People used to think that dumping their body wastes outside of their homes was Good Enough (from the perspective of the inside of their home). Progressive leadership based on increased awareness and improved understanding has developed municipal waste collection and neutralization. Those developments have not occurred because of the competition for appearances of superiority in games of popularity and profitability. They only developed through leadership imposing corrections and requirements that were contrary to the Private Interests of many of the people.

    The City of London, England, could have implemented proper clean-up of waste flows to the Thames River far earlier than it ended up happening. The popularity of reluctance to accept the unacceptability of not cleaning it up delayed the correction. Many people were easily impressed into feeling good about not correcting the unacceptable over-development. They wanted to Maximize their Feel Good Enjoyment of Their Life by ignoring and avoiding the cost of reducing the waste and the harm it created.

    The same can be said regarding climate change impacts. Future harmful consequences have already been created that Others who did not benefit from creating the mess are suffering from, having to struggle to adapt to. Even the best efforts to correct the wrong developments of the past will leave a legacy of harm. And the tragic part of climate change is that the burning of fossil fuels was long understood to also be creating many other harmful impacts. Yet some people today still try to defend the incorrect over-development that has occurred over the past many decades after the emergent truth (the inconvenient truth), of the need to correct what has developed was well established. They try to claim that perceptions of prosperity in places recently incorrectly developed over the past 30 years deserve to be protected, prolonged or propped-up.

    An added note regarding Naomi Klein's position in 2016 on the proposed Washington State Carbon Taxes. Her presented position in “The Carbon Tax on the Ballot in Washington State Is Not the Right Way to Deal With Global Warming” in The Nation was based on understanding help and harm. It included limited and technically accurate use of political terms like Right-Left-Conservative-Liberal. She correctly used the terms when saying “the odd Republican” and “right-wing friendly”.

    All of the most fortunate, not just the ones who care, need to be leading the transition away from burning fossil fuels. A carbon tax by itself, even a really big one, does not properly motivate the most fortunate to lead the correction and repair of what has developed (and especially not if the carbon tax is used to reduce other taxes on the wealthiest like the Washington State tax plan). The inequities of wealth distribution allow a wealthy person to continue living and pursuing profit while only suffering a minor (to them) inconvenience or cost (admittedly they often consider a penny paid to help others without a personal return benefit to be a penny lost). A rebate of the taxes to the poor portion of the population would be better. But even that would not achieve the required leadership by all of the most fortunate in the rapid transition to zero-carbon ways of living.

    The way the games have been played through the past several decades prove that the developed socioeconomic-political systems/environments currently dominating/influencing the development/activity of humans fail to responsibly respond to developed better understanding, especially when that developed understanding is contrary to the Private Interests of the Winners in the systems/environments. Correcting those developed systems/environments is clearly what needs to happen.

    A part of the required socioeconomic-political changes would be effective peer pressure among the wealthiest and most influential, acting like a collective of responsible professionals, to ensure they are all being helpful parts of the development of a sustainable better future rather than harmfully pursuing a better present for themselves (I never have claimed the need for a Dictator, but I clearly doubt that people frrer top believe and do as they please will develop Good Results. And I have Good Reason for that doubt). That peer action would be without regard for variations of beliefs/values. It would not pit Left against Right, Liberal against Conservative, Capitalist against Socialist. Everyone would focus on encouraging and rewarding helpfulness and discouraging and penalizing harmfulness. Emotional appeals would fail to create unjustified feel good distractions from the Reality of needing everyone to focus on increasing their awareness and understanding of how to be legitimately Helpful to the future of humanity.

  30. Burning coal may have caused Earth’s worst mass extinction

    nigelj @1

    Large Igneous Provinces such as the Siberian Traps are fissure flow volcanism on a vast scale. This produces fractured surface rock over an extensive area. This could expose coal deposits that could then burn in the presence of lava.

    http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~polsen/nbcp/lipmc.html

  31. How blogs convey and distort scientific information about polar bears and Arctic sea ice

    JohnSeers has much better reading skills than ImaginaryNumber.

    Note that the context of this discussion should also include the post we are commenting on. The paper, looking at the web as a source of information, tells us that the dominant reference in the blogs that go against the scientific position mostly rely on the opinions of one person. There seem to be two possibilities:

    1. All the other "experts" are wrong, and this one source of alternative facts is the only true expert.
    2. That one alternative source is unreliable.

    The denier web sites try to pretend that #1 is the case, and argue that Crockfords' credentials on non-polar bear areas is sufficient to establish her expertise on polar bears. [It does not.]

    ImaginaryNumber is using the old dodge that questioning that evidence of expertise is an ad hominem. Combined with the other links to posts that actually refute her arguments, we have a good case to argue that because she posts junk, and because her resume does not contain any relevant experience, she is not an expert. Neither her blog posts nor her academic creentials support the position that she is an expert.

    Methinks ImaginaryNumber doth protest too much. I have no reason to belive that IMaginaryNumber is posting opinions he's seen elsewhere - I suspect that his friend-of-a-friend style of posting is just hiding an opinion he wants to argue himself.

  32. michael sweet at 06:50 AM on 13 March 2018
    Stop blaming ‘both sides’ for America’s climate failures

    Norrism:

    You have provided no information to support your wild claims in the past.

    You must provide a reference to a peer reviewed economic report that claims reducing CO2 will harm the economy or withdraw your absurd claim.

    You must say where you expect the 650 million refugeees from sea level rise to go and describe how Canada will house their share of these persons. We will leave the refugees from drought unaccounted for.

    You must link a comment you made at SkS where you support the IPCC median sea level rise as 1 meter and conceed the damage it would cause. If you cannot you must withdraw your claim at 152 that you have supported that amount of damage.

    In previous comments you have dodged these questions and changed the topic of discussion. We need to answer them so that the discussion can proceed on. Please do not change the topic again.

    When you change the topic without resolving the discussion it results in no progress.  Support your wild claims or withdraw them.  It is sloganeering to make wild claims and change the subject instead of supporting them.

    The most widely supported proposal is to return the carbon fee as a dividend to every citizen equally.  If you only reduce income taxes the rich benifit while the poor and the old (who pay little or no income tax) pay more in taxes.  In the US almost half of citizens do not pay income tax and would be taxed more to support the rich.  This would obviously be unfair. 

    Please provide a citation to support your wild claim that a reduction in income tax would be a fair way to distribute the carbon fee.

  33. Burning coal may have caused Earth’s worst mass extinction

    Fascinating and plausible theory where a lot of information  fits the theory very well. However how do you get combustion of coal seams underground, because where would enough oxygen come from, or was the coal just ejected somehow from the volcanos?

    On a related matter, a theory has been suggested that the ten biblical plagues of ancient Egypt were caused by a combination of a warming, drying climate and a volcanic eruption on the Mediterranean islands of Santorini, just north of Crete described in this fascinating article.

  34. Stop blaming ‘both sides’ for America’s climate failures

    NorrisM @32, 

    I agree a revenue neutral carbon tax makes sense in principle. Where did I say otherwise? Its just depends on the details.

    You say "What is so wrong about generally reducing income taxes both for corporations and individuals by the amount raised by a carbon tax?"

    Surely this is obvious? The carbon tax taxes corporations but then effectively gives the tax back to them in the form of a tax cut, so its pointless because things largely cancel each other out. As N Klein suggests it effectively rewards fossil fuel companies. It becomes a money go around. Sorry, its a nonsense scheme that is too weak to be of much use.

    This is why I think it should be just an income tax cut.

    However I think a better scheme overall is carbon tax and dividend, where the money raised is given back to the consumers to spend as they wish, or some is given back to consumers and some is given over to subsidising electric cars for example. Its largely revenue neutral.

    I do agree a carbon tax that just hands money back to the government to spend on anything at all is definitely unacceptable.  But as I have shown there are several alternatives to this better than the one in Washington, which virtually everyone has opposed. That scheme has no chances.

  35. Stop blaming ‘both sides’ for America’s climate failures

    nigelj @ 31

    The proposed Washington state carbon tax was similar to what had been instituted in British Columbia by the provincial Liberal government (slightly right of centre) a number of years ago.  The promise was to reduce income taxes or other taxes by an equal amount so that it was "revenue neutral".   I do not have the exact details about the BC carbon tax but my understanding is that the reduction applied to all income taxes, certainly not just corporations.  I do not have those details regarding the Washington carbon tax.   I do know that our new "left-leaning" NDP government in BC has announced that they are not going to stick with the promise of the Liberals.  They are going to keep the money and raise taxes.  This little "change in plans" I am sure will not go unnoticed by conservatives in the US pointing to what happens with promises of "revenue neutral" carbon taxes. 

    But in my view a "revenue neutral" carbon tax is the only practical way to implement a carbon tax in any jurisdiction given the conservative vote not withstanding the "dividend" proposal in the US because of the distrust of many (including the writer) about handing massive additional sums of money over to governments and expecting them to spend it wisely.  Unless it is dedicated to infrastructure or R&D, I find that governments simply are inefficient. 

    A revenue neutral carbon tax puts a price on the use of fossil fuels irrespective of where the money goes unless it somehow finds its way to otherwise subsidize fossil fuel use but it would be bizarre to find any government implementing a carbon tax and then using the proceeds in that way.

    What is so wrong about generally reducing income taxes both for corporations and individuals by the amount raised by a carbon tax?

  36. How blogs convey and distort scientific information about polar bears and Arctic sea ice

    ImaginaryNumber @44 , as you see for yourself, Dr Crockford's commentary is little better than rhetoric & cherrypicking.

    That is very obvious to you, me, and any scientific thinker — regardless of whether a polar bear expert or otherwise.  Crockford's focus on whether some of the Beaufort bear sub-population have lost weight, is very largely an irrelevancy to the "big-picture" that she alleges to present.   Even worse is her focus on extremely short time-spans (such as the 8-year period mentioned in her comments).

    More puzzling, is why you yourself have been drawn-in to focus your questions on such minutiae, rather than looking at the overall situation (including the long-term situation).   You appear to have allowed yourself to be hijacked by your "specific friends" — who sound like straight-up denialists/science-deniers (call them what-you-will excepting "skeptics" — for if they were true skeptics then they would have abandoned climate-skepticism 20 or 25 years ago owing to all the scientific evidence available at that stage ! )

    ImaginaryNumber, move your gaze from that one small leaf.  Step back, and look at the whole forest.  No point (unless you want the sport) in engaging with hard-core denialists — they are impervious to reason, and you cannot change them.  Sadly.  Neither logical arguments nor ad-hominem arguments will get through to them.

  37. How blogs convey and distort scientific information about polar bears and Arctic sea ice

    "Dismissing Crockford simply because she isn't a polar bear expert ..."

    Read more carefully ImaginaryNumber. Or do not try and set up a strawman.

    What Bob Loblaw dismissed was not Susan Crockford or her points but the fake sceptics claims to build her up as an expert with the same credibility as people who have specialised in the subject for many years. 

  38. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #10

    I can just see exactly whats going to happen: " My insurance premiums have gone up $500 and they say its climate change. Why wasn't anything done about the problem?"

  39. Stop blaming ‘both sides’ for America’s climate failures

    NorrisM and OPOF,

    Regarding the so called revenue "neutral carbon tax", this is from Naomi Kleins article.

    "Meanwhile, it would offset carbon revenues by cutting taxes for big corporations, including major polluters. (According to the Seattle Times, Boeing could see windfalls of tens of millions annually.)"

    This makes the tax largely self defeating imho, so maybe she was right to oppose it. Perhaps Pinker wasn't aware of this, or think's its unimportant.

    While something is better than nothing, this tax looks too close to a nothing. If the tax cut was simply a personal income tax cut it, would have made more sense

    I have read Kleins book This Changes Everything and it makes quite a lot of sense. Having said that, I dont think environmentalists etc should be demanding some combination of climate policies  and economic reform, because it will just make already complex things into one package too huge to deal with, and would alienate The Republicans. But I do think Klein is right in many of her criticisms of neoliberalism, and something simply has to change, but as a separate things from the climate issue.

    However when The Republicans point at Klein and claim that this shows climate science is really socialism in disguise, they are really using the views of just one person to create a false impression of climate science as a whole. Its a strawman and weak argument.

    Norris I have bought a copy of Pinkers book. I will add it to the pile of things to read. I agree Canadas level of socialism appears sensible enough. I'm liberal, but towards the middle of the bell curve somewhere.

    But America seems more to the right than NZ, even the Democrats are almost centre right leaning compared to other countries.

  40. Stop blaming ‘both sides’ for America’s climate failures

    OPOF @ 29

    Perhaps this will not make you Feel Good, but here is the exact quote from Pinker at pages 138-139:

    "In one of the most surreal episodes in the history of environmental politics, Klein joined the infamous David and Charles Koch, the billionaire oil industrialists and bankrollers of climate change denial, in helping to defeat a 2016 Washington state ballot initiative that would have implemented the nation's first carbon tax, the policy which almost every analyst endorses as a prerequisite to dealing with climate change."

    Do you think I am misrepresenting what Pinker had to say about Naomi Klien?

    As to Feeling Good, I think Pinker's book Enlightenment Now might make you Feel Good about the world we live in.

    On another matter, I do not think you could do better than appointing Steven Pinker as your benevolent dictator because from the general flavour I get from your comments (on many threads on this website) you do not seem to have much respect for the democratic process.  This lack of respect for democracy is very troubling to me and I hope for others on this blog.  Perhaps you can disabuse me of my view of your attitudes.

  41. ImaginaryNumber at 14:09 PM on 12 March 2018
    How blogs convey and distort scientific information about polar bears and Arctic sea ice

    My thanks to all of you who have commented. I'm working my way through the links given, and will respond to those later. But first some general comments ---

    Eclectic said: "ImaginaryNumber @39 , regarding polar bears, Dr Crockford is more [paid] propagandist than scientist."

    I understand that, but it is irrelevant with the specific people I am discussing polar bears with. I, and they, are only interested in the scientific arguments, not with who paid whom.

    Bob Loblaw said: "You use the phrase "...don't take kindly to ad hominem attacks..."

    It is the fake skeptics that claim that Crockford is an expert on polar bears. It is they that present her background as evidence of that expertise. Tearing apart that "evidence" is not "ad hominem". Crockford does not present as a credible "expert".

    Dismissing Crockford simply because she isn't a polar bear expert, and not specifically addressing her arguments, is an ad hominem attack. I suspect none of you (and certainly not me) are polar bear experts. But that doesn't stop us from expounding on the topic.

    Again, I am working my way through the links you're provide to see if they answer the specific questions that I listed above in post 39. Thanks for your help.

  42. One Planet Only Forever at 13:23 PM on 12 March 2018
    Stop blaming ‘both sides’ for America’s climate failures

    NorrisM@28,

    I am composing my thoughts regarding your recommendation of Pinker's book. I plan to complete that, and try to keep it short but will not limit the extent of logic/reason (philosophy) in it, but I wish to point out that Pinker may have misrepresented Naomi Klein's position regarding what is happening in Washington State. And I would add that it took me less than 10 minutes to look up exactly what Naomi Klein said on her website item "The Carbon Tax on the Ballot in Washington State Is Not the Right Way to Deal With Global Warming".

    I have to say, what Naomi Klein says appears logical and well reasoned. It appears you either misrepresented what Pinker had to say about Naomi Klein, or you were uncritically reading Pinker, maybe because it made you Feel Good.

  43. There Will Be Consequences

    Riduna @15, just to be clear by rapid sea level rise I mean several metres per century. I agree its certainly very possible, but surely low probability as against high probability? 

    For example the last IPCC report had the upper limit at 1 metre so clearly by implication they think chances or probabilities of more rapid sea level rise are low.

    We dont know rates of sea level rise in the Eimean. This was a period of many thousands of years. However its certainly at the very least suggests current temperatures will lead to several metres of sea level rise, its just the speed thats in question.

    Current rates of acceleration suggest 600mm to 1000mm by end of  this century. Which is bad enough. Loss of ice shelves in Antactica could well lead to more rapid sea level rise, but the current real world data is suggesting nearer 1 metre.

    However, just in case I wasn't clear in some way, (I thought I was) even low probability of rapid sea level rise, or uncertainty about the chances,  is still extremely concerning, because the consequences of rapid sea level rise would be truly devastating. So people need to be thinking in those terms, and risk management principles and the precautionary principle need to apply. I hope I dont need to clarify this again.

  44. There Will Be Consequences

    nielj - ‘Imho probabilities of extremely rapid sea level rise may be small’

    This is similar to saying that the probability of sustained polar ice mass loss may be small. Among the reasons why I think this is unlikely:

    • The level of greenhouses gasses already in the atmosphere is well in excess of levels prevalent during the Eemian when SLR was 6-9 metres higher than at present.
    • Warming of the Arctic and loss of sea ice mass and extent is now occurring more rapidly than previously expected and is likely to accelerate GIS mass loss and release of greenhouse gasses from permafrost.
    • Loss of ice-shelves is promoting faster glacier discharge in Antarctica and formation of relatively warm bottom water likely to erode the West Antarctic ice sheet more rapidly than hitherto thought likely.

    Analysis by Dr Rignot of possible polar ice mass loss arising from these effects also suggests that SLR could occur rapidly and is likely to result in a multi-metre rise during the latter half of this century.

    The present rate of SLR does not suggest this. This is because loss of land-based ice has been slow - starting off at a very low rate towards the end of last century but, 20 years later accelerating at a rate sufficient to give rise for concerns about SLR over the rest of this century.

    A sea level rise in excess of 3 metres by 2100 is possible, even if deemed impossible 10 years ago and regarded as highly unlikely by many to-day. We can certainly delay this development beyond 2100 but can we prevent it? Possibly.

  45. How blogs convey and distort scientific information about polar bears and Arctic sea ice

    ImaginaryNumber @ 39:

    You use the phrase "...don't take kindly to ad hominem attacks..."

    It is the fake skeptics that claim that Crockford is an expert on polar bears. It is they that present her background as evidence of that expertise. Tearing apart that "evidence" is not "ad hominem". Crockford does not present as a credible "expert".

    The "fake expert" is a common tactic in the so-called debate on climate change:

    https://skepticalscience.com/Resources-when-facing-firehose-of-falsehoods.html

    You have been pointed to subtantive take-downs of her arguments. Read them.

  46. How blogs convey and distort scientific information about polar bears and Arctic sea ice

    ImaginaryNumber @39 , regarding polar bears, Dr Crockford is more [paid] propagandist than scientist.

    You will notice the [Desmog] comment that Crockford (despite some expertise in evolution) has never published an article on polar bears in a peer-reviewed journal.  Nevertheless, she has received money/benefits (from blatantly anti-scientific organizations) and has written very one-sided propaganda reports that are at odds with the mainstream opinions of scientists who possess actual polar bear expertise.  Her "reports" are strong on propaganda rhetoric, and are weak on overall science.

    She does indeed bring (as she claims) "a unique 'big-picture' perspective to the issue of polar bear conservation."    ~ More is the pity !

    On the particular faults of her statements :-

    ImaginaryNumber, you will especially notice how she conjures with very short-term periods (e.g. 8 years of polar sea-ice) and draws a long-bow assessment that "all is well: no problem to see here".   In typical rhetorical propaganda style.

    You would normally think that a zoologist with an interest in evolutionary development would instead be thinking & talking in terms of centuries and millennia (and multi-millennia of glacial/interglacial cycles).   In other words, she completely fails to present the 'big-picture'.

    She also plays fast-and-loose with polar bear numbers (and the equally important question of their condition/fatness).   Polar bears' numbers are difficult to ascertain by ordinary aerial survey; and their actual condition is vastly more difficult to assess properly.  Bears with year-on-year poor condition can very suddenly crash in numbers.  At which point, the problem is much more obvious — even to propagandists.

    Yet Dr Crockford is buoyantly optimistic about the overall situation, and she seems to turn a blind eye to the long-term decline of arctic sea-ice (the polar ice for which the very-white polar bear has evolved — and has also evolved to a highly-specialized meat/blubber diet rather than the omnivorous diet of the brown bear species).

    As you see from its coloration and lifestyle, the polar bear is an ambush predator.   It relies on ambushing seals which surface to breathe at small polynyas and ice-leads and smaller breathing-holes.  (A bear may even dig through shallower ice to produce an "attractive" breathing-hole.)

    Yet the relation between polar bears and the ice-environment is not as simple as other species/habitat ratios (e.g. orangutans and hectares of forest).   Normally you would think that "specialized apex predator" versus "shrinking environment habitat" . . . equates to high risk of extinction.  But with polar bears, we need to look at the interaction of bear/environment with seal/environment — it can indeed be complex, depending on the foraging/breeding abilities of the seals in low-ice conditions (low-ice conditions which at the same time severely handicap the polar bears).

    In the overall picture, the polar bears will suffer severe decline (and likely extinction in the wild) as the planet approaches "prolonged zero" summer sea-ice over the next 100 years or so.   Note: the polar bears survived through the [hotter-than-present-day] Eemian Interglacial 120,000 years ago — but arctic conditions at that time were able to maintain some coastal ice, owing to a a different set of marine currents.

    But all that is unimportant to Dr Crockford : she seems intent on using the [short-term] polar bear situation as a propaganda proxy-argument to "dismiss" AGW.

  47. Stop blaming ‘both sides’ for America’s climate failures

    nigelj @ 27

    One more book to add to the list given that the son of my best friend (no surprise, a judge) recommended that book to him.  I left Vancouver before he had had a chance to read it.

    As to Pinker,  I am not sure that I have an issue with libertarianism if it is combined with utilitarianism which I also see in Pinker.  He clearly believes in a social security net to the extent it can be supported long term.  His Jewish grandparents are Canadian from what I gather having escaped from Europe well before the Holocaust so he comes from an interesting background.   I appreciate that this is a similar background of Ayn Rand but I do not see that kind of philosophy in Pinker.  I would call this philosophy rather than politics although obviously they overlap.  As in many things, it gets back to the continuum of personal liberties versus the collective good.  Where are each of us on this scale?  We clearly know where the Republicans are on this continuum which is problematic for the world.  Ayn Rand was at one end and Karl Marx at the other.  Most of us are somewhere in between and it clearly impacts our views on climate change. 

    Reading in Pinker's book that Naomi Klien led a group successfully opposing a carbon tax in the State of Washington astounded me. She objected to it according to Pinker because it did not punish the polluters enough.  As Pinker points out, this was a pure example of pushing a broad political agenda which plays right into the hands of those Republicans who say the climate change debate is all a massive scheme to impose socialism on the US.  I personally think the level of socialism we have in Canada is a good thing but it is anathema to Republicans as we all know. 

  48. Digby Scorgie at 14:04 PM on 11 March 2018
    Jet fuel from sugarcane? It’s not a flight of fancy

    One day's jet fuel requires 34 223 acres of sugarcane.  But I have a question: do you get 2500 litres from one acre every day or only when you harvest?  The article does not make this clear.

  49. There Will Be Consequences

    Riduna, great interview particularly the staged press conference. I think America has at least 3 issues flowing from this.

    1) Climate models don't fully include all possible feedbacks and tipping points and are likely to be conservative, that is the message I got.

    Imho probabilities of extremely rapid sea level rise may be small, but given the repercussions are so severe, you have to elevate this low level of risk to something of high level of concern. People in government who don't understand this need to get out of the way.

    2) Who regulates the environment, federal or state agencies? This appears to be at the core of the Trump and Republicans concerns about the issue. I acknowledge its a difficult one, and we have to avoid too much centralised power if possible, however environmental problems do not recognise borders, and this strongly suggests it has to be largely at federal level. This is just the reality of the situation, regardless of ideology.

    3) The election cycle means 4 years of climate progress, 4 years going backwards, rinse and repeat. The problem is these political systems are no longer adequate to deal with large scale, long term multi generational environmental problems. The UK has recognised this, and given over climate mitigation to an independent body, and its probably no coincidence that they have cut emissions significantly, without economic problems. Instead of attacking the EPA in America, it should be strengthened.

    4) The Republcans are very rigid on the climate issue. Sure try to convince them through explaining the Bible would promote conservation, and the security threats posed by climate change, but I don't know if this will do that much. Everyone in the country needs to be telling the Republican leadership that they are simply wrong about environmental issues. Nothing will change until they are under real pressure and are totally isolated.

  50. How blogs convey and distort scientific information about polar bears and Arctic sea ice

    From the Climate Feedback Reviews section of the 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #9:

    Climate Feedback asked its network of scientists to review the opinion piece, Polar bears keep thriving even as global warming alarmists keep pretending they’re dying by Susan Crockford, Financial Post, Feb 27, 2018

    Three scientists analyzed the article and estimate its overall scientific credibility to be 'very low'.

    A majority of reviewers tagged the article as: Biased, Cherry-picking, Misleading.

    Review Summary

    This article in the opinion section of Financial Post, written by Susan Crockford, claims that rather than being threatened by declining Arctic sea ice, polar bears are “thriving”.

    Three scientists who reviewed the article explained that this article fundamentally misrepresents research on the topic. The author exhibits poor reasoning in arguing that polar bear population loss projected for 2050 should have occurred already if that science was accurate. Researchers do not ignore the evidence Crockford claims they do, but instead incorporate all published research on polar bear populations. Despite the article’s statements to the contrary, research shows that polar bear populations will struggle as ice-free periods (during which they cannot hunt for food) grow longer.

    Financial Post publishes misleading opinion that misrepresents science of polar bears’ plight, Climate Feedback, Mar 2, 2018

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