08 January 2012

Climate in the media to 8 January 2012

PICKS OF THE WEEK---------------

Climate Cognitive Dissonance: The “Profound Contradiction” Between Science and Markets on the Road to 10°F Warming
David Roberts, Grist, 21 December 2011
Earlier this month, Nicholas Stern — respected U.K. economist and author of the famed Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change — cast a spotlight on what he calls a “profound contradiction at the heart of climate change policy.”

Cherry-picking contrarian geologists tend to obscure scientific truth
Mike Sandiford, The Australian, December 31, 2011 12:00AM
Gina Rinehart notoriously claims she has never met a geologist who believes "adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will have any significant effect on climate".
Environment world review of the year: '2011 rewrote the record books'http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/dec/22/environment-2011-year-review
John Vidal, Guardian, 22 December 2011
The ecologically tumultuous year saw record greenhouse gas emissions, melting Arctic sea ice, natural disasters and extreme weather – and the world's second worst nuclear disaster
The Big Climate Stories of 2011
2011: Year of Natural Disasters (Infographic)

Why libertarians must deny climate change, in one short take
George Monbiot, Guardian, 6 January 2012
I must applaud Matt Bruenig's summing up of the inherent conflict between libertarianism and environmental issues

Carbon Time Bomb in the Arctic: New York Times Print Edition Gets the Story Right
Joe Romm, Climate Orogress, 19 December 2011
NY Times science reporter Justin Gillis has just published an excellent overview article, “As Permafrost Thaws, Scientists Study the Risks.” 
Leaders of Arctic Methane Project Clarify Climate Concerns

Australian coal’s expansion plans make a mockery of government’s carbon tax claims
David Spratt, code red blog,  2 January 2012
The expansion of Australian coal mining will add about 1.75Gt (gigatonnes) of carbon dioxide annually to the atmosphere – about 11 times what the Australian government estimates will be saved by the carbon tax legislation that recently passed Parliament.

Murdoch Press Coverage of Aussie Carbon Price So Negative in 2011, “It’s Fair to Say They’ve Campaigned Against It”
Stephen Lacey, Climate Progress, Jan 5, 2012
I was struck by a recent analysis from Daily Climate showing a substantial drop in the number of stories covering climate change in 2011. In spite of the dramatic increase in extreme weather events and the white-knuckled political tension around government investments in energy, there was still a 20% drop in coverage of climate-related issues last year.
Climate coverage down again in 2011

AFP spies targeting green activists
Philip Dorling,The Age, January 7, 2012
The Resources and Energy Minister, Martin Ferguson, has secretly pushed for increased surveillance by federal police intelligence officers of environmental activists who have been protesting peacefully at coal-fired power stations and coal export facilities.

Climate Change and the Trillion-Dollar Disruption
Steve Zwick, Forbes, 5 January 2011
Fortunes are made and lost on “disruptive events” that seem to catch us off-guard.  Deep down, however, we all know that most disruptive events aren’t so much unseen before the fact as they are ignored.


Top 10 Clean Energy Stories of 2011 (with Charts)
Stephen Lacey, Climate Progress, Dec 22, 2011
What an odd year. While businesses around the world were making record level investments in renewables and efficiency, a growing number of conservative politicians and members of the American media punditry — lead by the outrageously ignorant “reporting” by Fox News — have been foolishly projecting (even cheering on) the demise of the sector.

Lighting up on Solar Power
Naimul Haq, IPS, Dec 29, 2011
The sun never shone brighter on rural Bangladesh with low power solar systems transforming the lives of tens of millions of marginalised rural people who are unconnected to the national grid.

World's largest solar plant powers up
Alasdair Fotheringham, The Independent, 01 January 2012
Spanish venture is as big as 210 football pitches and has 600,000 mirrors. But there's a dark side


Study: Does enduring extreme weather make you vote liberal?
Doyle Rice, USA Today, 30 December 2011
On the heels of a disastrous weather year in the USA, and with the long presidential campaign season looming, a new study finds that people who have endured extreme weather events are more likely to support environmental legislation, even if it means restricting individual freedoms.

The Debunking Handbook Part 1
The Debunking Handbook is a guide to debunking myths, by John Cook and Stephan Lewandowsky. Although there is a great deal of psychological research on misinformation, unfortunately there is no summary of the literature that offers practical guidelines on the most effective ways of reducing the influence of misinformation. This Handbook boils down the research into a short, simple summary, intended as a guide for communicators in all areas (not just climate) who encounter misinformation. The Handbook will be available as a free, downloadable PDF at the end of this 6-part blog series

Big Environmental NGOs: The End of Incrementalism in 2012?
US environmental NGOs, along with other, more globally minded 'green' and conservation-minded NGOs, have been poorly led in recent years. They've blown a series of chances to help businesses change using a nuanced approach. Their approach been too cut and dried, too 'with you not against you' in ideology. It was never as simple as that.

Proposals for reducing carbon dioxide emissions must balance with development needs
Eureka alert, 21 December 2011
Efforts to combat climate change should take into account the development levels of different countries when negotiating agreements, according to a study published in the Dec. 21 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE.

Why is it so easy to save the banks – but so hard to save the biosphere?
George Monbiot, Guardian, 16 December 2011
Agreements to bail out banks happen in days – but despite some good progress at Durban, we still don't have a legally binding deal to bail out the planet

Developed world failing on climate funds pledge, says Bangladeshi minister
Fiona Harvey, Guardian, 2 January 2012
Dipu Moni criticises 'dismal' efforts to deliver billions of pounds in aid to help poorer countries cope with environmental change

Time to get corporate cash out of Congress
Bill McKibben,  TomDispatch/Guardian,  5 January 2012
I've seen enough of how Big Oil operates in Washington to know that moneyed influence is poisoning American democracy

Preparing for apocalypse: 'It's a ton of fun'
Sylvia Thompson, Irish Times, January 7, 2012
Most of us are a little worried about what lies ahead, but members of the Dark Mountain Project believe that civilisation is about to collapse, that the Green movement has failed, and that we should be preparing to live in a changed world In some places people will start to move back to agriculture and villages, and there'll be civil unrest

Another Year Goes By and We're No Closer to Solving Climate Change
Auden Schendler, the Atlantic, 3 January 2012
Events of 2011 show that no matter how solid the science, some people will never accept that humans are causing global warming.


Acid test for 'evil twin' of climate change
Lloyd Jones, The Age, January 7, 2012
They call themselves Team Acid and are trawling the Southern Ocean with fine nets to see if the shells of tiny marine snails are thinning because of ocean acidification.

"The world is perfectly on track to six degrees Celsius increasing the temperature" says IEA Fatih Birol
Joe Romm, Climate Progress,  Jan 4, 2012
The International Energy Agency was once a staid and conservative organization that people ignored because it was staid and conservative.

Widespread beach erosion leaves surf clubs in deep water
Jonathan Swan, Brisbane Times, January 3, 2012
Lifesaver Andrew Jones has watched the ocean swallow his beach. During the past 18 months, from the porch of the Taree Old Bar Surf Club, he has seen about ''60 to 70 metres of beach frontage'' disappear.
Environmentalists hope to turn the tide against use of sea walls
Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times, January 2, 2012
The longtime practice of dumping huge rocks and chunks of concrete along the coastline to stop erosion is coming under fire from those who favor letting the shoreline retreat naturally. San Francisco's efforts to protect Ocean Beach is the latest battleground.
Planned retreat: Getting out of the way of the sea
Denis Devine, Newsworks, January 2, 2012
In a region that loves its summers at the Shore, a lot of phrases become familiar: beach tag, salt-water taffy, tear down. Here's one you may not know, but may begin to hear as storms and rising ocean levels continue to batter the coast: "planned retreat."  And its cousin: "rolling easements."
20 inches to disaster: U.S. coasts unprepared for higher seas
Belgium fears for its fragile coastline
Jean-Pierre Stroobants, Guardian, 3 January 2012
Storms and rising sea levels could wreak havoc as defences that protect beaches and dykes are overwhelmed

'Dramatic' loss of harp seals amid warming: study
AFP, 8 January 2012
Harp seal pups off the coast of eastern Canada are dying at alarming rates due to a loss of winter ice cover, according to US scientists who questioned on Wednesday if the population will be able to recover.

Perceptions of Climate Change: The New Climate Dice
New draft paper by Hansen et al  on the effect of global warming on the frequency of climate extremes.

The Ghost of Climate Yet to Come
Joe Romm, Climate Progress, Dec 24, 2011
Irreversible does not mean unstoppable: “Why show me this, if I am past all hope?”

‘No, climate sensitivity is not smaller, it is higher than we thought’ – because organic aerosol feedbacks mask warming
Rolf Schuttenhelm, Bits of Science, December 21, 201
It serves to show individual climate sensitivity studies are never conclusive but add up bits of fresh understanding to an already enormous pile of data and knowledge.

Could Public Health Benefits Make Combating Climate Change Free?
David Biello, Scientific American, December 21, 2011
Climate change threatens human health, therefore reducing greenhouse gas emissions may help our medical well-being, too

Melting Glaciers Mean Double Trouble for Water Supplies
Rick Lovett, National Geographic News, December 20, 2011
New research shows that as ice disappears, overall evaporation speeds up.