[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

Stephen Harper's scream

There has been precious little coverage about a massive shift to the left in Canada's most conservative region. If Canada has an equivalent to Texas, that would likely be Alberta, notoriously, dependability and consistently conservative. The recent election has ended a 44 year overwhelming conservative run in the provincial parliament. Alberta is the home province for Stephen Harper and many conservative leaders in the Canadian federal government. One political commentator wistfully noted commented on the election results: "Pigs do fly!" And the election has led to several to retire completely out of politics, including Alberta's Premier Jim Prentice, a former member of Tory Prime Minister Stephen Harper's cabinet. Rachel Notley, candidate for New Democratic Party (NDP), will be the new premier. I believe the policies of the NDP are pretty similar to what you find in moderately left parties.
[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

It's almost like watching a LJ debate in real time with the GOP talking point and "gotchas" and Gish-Galloping. The cringe-inducing questioning by Sessions amounted to a series of “gotchas” aimed at an EPA administrator who not only isn’t a scientist but who obviously wasn’t going to prepare for a budget hearing by memorizing responses to all possible climate contrarian arguments. McCarthy deferred on most of Sessions’s questions, saying she was happy to provide answers in writing. “Well you need to know, because you’re asking this economy to sustain tremendous cost,” Sessions responded sternly.

Video at this link. A classic example of Gish Galloping.

[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

Hey, here's a great way to start your weekend!

According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which each year updates the hands on a clock meant to symbolize how close we are to the annihilation of the human race, or midnight. For the last three years, the world was five minutes from the end. Today, we're three minutes away.

The two-minute move is symbolic, but it gives a sense of how grim the outlook some of the best scientific minds have for humanity. The decision to move the hands forward, said Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists executive director Kennette Benedict, came about largely due to the threats posed by anthropogenic climate change and the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

"World leaders have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from catastrophe," Benedict said Thursday at an event held in the auditorium of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. "Stunning governmental failures have imperiled civilization on a global scale."

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists created the clock in 1947 to use "the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion (countdown to zero) to convey threats to humanity and the planet." The closest the hands have ever come to midnight was 11:58, in 1953, after the U.S. and the then-Soviet Union began testing thermonuclear bombs.

Which mirrors the sentiments in an episode on HBO's The Newsroom

[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

Newsroom interview about Climate Change

While the interview is fictional, the information contained in it is not. A lot of the fictional EPA official's information was based on a study co-conducted by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. When the fictional EPA official stated that people alive today would likely die from catastrophic planetary failure, that was based a real analysis of data.

Although the study based on HANDY is largely theoretical - a 'thought-experiment' - a number of other more empirically-focused studies - by KPMG and the UK Government Office of Science for instance - have warned that the convergence of food, water and energy crises could create a 'perfect storm' within about fifteen years. But these 'business as usual' forecasts could be very conservative.


But unlike the ACN interview, the NASA report does offer a faint glimmer of hope:

Collapse can be avoided and population can reach equilibrium if the per capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion.
[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

Germany / Denmark, with a sea level increase of 100 meters.

A big caveat:
no one is calling for such an increase by 2100, and it will likely take hundreds of years, but it will eventually happen. Meanwhile, rising sea level increases will impact low laying crop areas in China, and Southeastern Asia, and India, and South America, and some areas of the United States.
[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

New York Times: Unveiling New Carbon Plan, E.P.A. Focuses on Flexibility

The Obama administration on Monday announced one of the strongest actions ever taken by the United States government to fight climate change, a proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulation to cut carbon pollution from the nation’s power plants 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, according to people briefed on the plan.

The regulation takes aim at the largest source of carbon pollution in the United States, the nation’s more than 600 coal-fired power plants. If it withstands an expected onslaught of legal and legislative attacks, experts say that it could close hundreds of the plants and also lead, over the course of decades, to systemic changes in the American electricity industry, including transformations in how power is generated and used.

[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

This sculpture by Issac Cordal in Berlin is called “Politicians discussing global warming.”

[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

The producers of An Inconvenient Truth are discussing a possible sequel.

Al Gore might need to dust off his projector. The creative forces behind the Oscar-winning environmental documentary An Inconvenient Truth are hatching plans for a sequel to the film that raised global awareness of climate change. "We have had conversations," producer Lawrence Bender tells THR. "We've met; we've discussed. If we are going to make a movie, we want it to have an impact."

The first film certainly did. Released in 2006 by Paramount and Jeff Skoll's Participant Media, the Davis Guggenheim-directed doc grossed nearly $50 million worldwide and helped propel Gore, its narrator, to a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. But Bender believes that during the ensuing years, the fossil-fuel industry has changed the dialogue with a misinformation campaign. "They did a really good job of pushing back and confusing people," he says. "Some people actually believe global warming doesn't exist."



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