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Climate Hustle

Skeptical Science wins 2016 NCSE Friend of the Planet award

Posted on 10 May 2016 by Guest Author

This is a re-post from NCSE

FOP award

NCSE is pleased to announce the winners of the Friend of Darwin award for 2016: Andrew J. Petto, a physical anthropologist, who formerly served on NCSE's board of directors and as the editor of Reports of the National Center for Science Education; Donald R. Prothero, a paleontologist and prolific author whose latest book is The Story of Life in 25 Fossils; and Paula Spence, a cartoonist and artist who has been contributing graphics of all sorts to NCSE for almost a decade.

"Anj Petto served NCSE, as well as the cause of science education, so long and so well that he was a natural choice," commented NCSE's executive director Ann Reid, "while it would be hard to think of anyone who has contributed as much to the public understanding of the paleontological evidence for evolution and against creationism as Don Prothero." She added, "And Paula Spence's art for NCSE has entertained, enlightened, and educated thousands of people."

NCSE is also pleased to announce the winners of the Friend of the Planet award for 2016: Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University; Dana Nuccitelli and John P. Abraham, who contribute the Climate Consensus – the 97% column to the Guardian; and Skeptical Science, a website devoted to explaining climate change science and rebutting global warming misinformation created and maintained by John Cook of the University of Queensland.

"All of the Friends of the Planet for 2016 shine as climate communicators, in different but complementary ways," Reid explained. "Katharine Hayhoe excels at building connections between science and society and Dana Nuccitelli and John Abraham have consistently provided timely commentary on the latest developments. And Skeptical Science is simply unrivaled as a vast, up-to-date, and in-depth source of accurate and accessible information on climate change science."

The Friend of Darwin and Friend of the Planet awards are presented annually to a select few whose efforts to support NCSE and advance its goal of defending the teaching of evolution and climate science have been truly outstanding. Previous recipients of the Friend of Darwin award include Niles Eldredge, Susan Epperson, John F. Haught, and the plaintiffs in Kitzmiller v. Dover. Previous recipients of the Friend of the Planet Award include Michael Mann, Naomi Oreskes, and the Alliance for Climate Education.

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Comments

Comments 1 to 12:

  1. Congratulations to Skeptical Science, and individually to Dana and the two Johns (Abraham and Cook).  A very well deserved award.

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  2. Congratulations! 

    Totally merited.

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  3. Thanks!

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  4. It's time for a world map, posted on this site, showing the daily, monthly, yearly loss of land to the rising seas (e.g. recent disappearance of several islands in the Solomons)

    An up-to-date depiction of lost land and threatened losses would be very effective in demonstrating the actual and approaching effects of global warming.

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  5. John A. Broussard @4, the total land lost to date is to small to even show on the scale of a global map.  Even a six meter sea level rise (not expected for several centuries) appears more as a highlighting of the coast rather than a significant land loss:

    This does not mean sea level rise is insignificant.  People living on river deltas (Bangladesh, much of the Egyptian population) or what are in effect extended sand bars (Florida) along with will lose almost all their territory from such a sea level rise.  Further, 40% of the world's population lives in coastal areas and will experience some negative impact from sea level rise, either through increased storm damage and flood risk (due to slower drainage of rivers due to the elevated sea level); or through the necessity to move cities or major infrastructure several kilometers inland (or build massive sea walls to obviate that necessity, with the risk of a Katrina like catastrophe as a result).

    Consequently, while the idea of an updated index of sea level rise impacts is a good one; using a global map to provide that index is unsuitable.  On the other hand, in some areas local maps might be very useful.

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  6. Thus, Tom, this begs the question of what Climate Change has as it's biggest threat if not sea level rise?

    I presume desertification...

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  7. bozza @6, I don't think anybody knows what the biggest threat is, and certainly I do not.  We know there are several very large threats but exactly which is largest depends on time scale and how much we push global warming; but in addition to that the error margins on how bad the threats are are such that a clear worst effect cannot be picked on a global basis.  Even if we push global warming to the extreme, in which case the seasonal rendering of tropical regions of the Earth uninhabitable to humans due to heat stress may be pipped by the effect of deoxydisation of the oceans (the probable cause of the worst mass extinction todate).  The later also has a less clear cut off so that it may occur at lower temperatures.  These are likely the worst possible impacts from purely anthropogenic global warming.  Ocean acidification and changes in the hydrological cycle (which involves both more intensive flooding, droughts and storms) are likely the worst impacts at more moderate levels by my inexpert estimate.

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  8. You are saying desertification could get a guernsey for biggest threat?

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  9. Congratulations SkS, well deserved.

    As for the greatest threat from AGW, it is quite likely to be, using Donald Rumsfeld terminology, an unknown unknown. Climate Scientists know what they know i.e. known knowns. They are also aware of the known unknowns but are not yet sure as to their likely impact. However, considering that the world is directly on a climate path that existed long before humans first evolved, then the global ecosystem that will exist long after fossil reserves have been burnt, if they are not left in the ground, is an unknown unknown. It may well be that the resulting global ecosystem may not be favourable to humans. Of course humans now have a limited ability to control their own evolution and create their own climate and ecosystems. Whether that will be enough to avert the more adverse impacts of AGW is also an unknown unknown.

    Incidently, one of the best temperature graphics I have seen in recent times that shows the rise in global temperature since 1850, has been produced by Ed Hawkins, an academic from the University of Reading. It is worth a look. It might also be worthwhile for someone to create a similar graphic showing the rise in CO2, and run them side by side, even though the denialists will use the argument that correlation does not imply causality.

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  10. mancan18 @9

    For deniers to say that "correlation does not imply causality" dodges the fact that high levels of carbon dioxide are "associated" with high temperatures, and vice versa.  Since CO2 levels are now high, the deniers have to admit that high temperatures are therefore to be expected — in other words, global warming has to be real.

    To put it another way, the deniers can't have their cake and eat it.  To use the correlation-causation argument they have to admit the reality of global warming.  (This treats as a separate issue the adding of more CO2 to the atmosphere from burning fossil fuel.)

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  11. I have seen a list somewhere of the cities that are likely to be hard hit by sean level rise and storm surges. London, New York and the Netherlands have massive works in progress to cope with this predicament.

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  12. https://softshippo.com/adobe-flash-player-debugger-download/

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