13 May 2012

Climate News

Week ending 13 May 2012

Climate sceptics enlist Unabomber
Adam Morton, The Age, May 8, 2012
It is either a brilliantly antagonistic marketing ploy or a remarkable misjudgment.
The billboard:
Big donors ditch rightwing Heartland Institute over Unabomber billboard
Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian, 9 May 201
Extremist US thinktank compared those who believe in man-made climate change to serial killer Ted Kaczynski

Dept of Climate Change rebuts Plimer's book for sceptic kids
Amber Jamieson, Crikey, 7 May 2012
The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency have confirmed that the decision to commission and publish a document called Accurate Answers to Professor Plimer's 101 Climate Change Science Questions was made in reaction to outrage from teachers and scientists about Ian Plimer's climate sceptic book aimed at children.

Hug the monster: It’s time to stop downplaying the climate threat
Joe Romm, REnew Economy, 8 May 2012
Journalist Bill Blakemore has a great piece on ABC’s website:‘Hug the Monster’ for Realistic Hope in Global Warming (or How to Transform Your Fearful Inner Climate). He offers advice to journalists in covering climate change – and advice to the rest of us in a world captured by denial.

An Inconvenient Lawsuit: Teenagers Take Global Warming to the Courts
Katherine Ellison, the Atlantic, 9 May 2012
Industry giants say their case is misguided. But that isn't stopping a group of high school students from using the legal system to make environmental demands.

Big Antarctic ice sheet appears doomed
Devin Powell, Science News, May 10, 2012
A massive slab of floating ice that juts from Antarctica’s west coast could be in hot water soon. Warm ocean currents threaten to sneak up from below and torpedo the ice in coming decades, researchers report in the May 10 Nature.


Zero carbon wiki

Getting the wind up
Neil Barrett, MASG, March 2012
Exploring the concern about adverse health effects of wind power in Australia and Europe

Saudi Arabia targets 41GW solar by 2032, China to beat 10GW/year
Giles Parkinson, REnew Economy, 10 May 2012
As the Australian government struggles with its Solar Flagships program, the world’s largest oil producer, Saudi Arabia, has unveiled an ambitious solar deployment.

Serious about renewables? It’s time to refloat the Solar Flagships
John Mathews, The Cinversation, 8 May 2012
Australia knows how to provide public leadership in the complex coordination of public events. Just look at the recent staging of the opera La Traviata on Sydney Harbour.

Conservative think-tanks step up attacks against Obama's clean energy strategy
Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian, 8 May 2012
Confidential memo seen by Guardian calls for climate change sceptics to turn American public against solar and wind power

The Climate Fixers
Michael Specter, New Yorker, May 14, 2012
Is there a technological solution to global warming?

Can solar thermal energy compete on costs with wind?
Giles Parkinson, REnewEconomy,  7 May 2012
The challenge facing solar thermal technology and its quest to compete with other energy sources was underlined in a proposal released late last month by Beyond Zero Emissions, for a replacement for the ageing and highly polluting Playford coal-fired power stations in Port Augusta.

The clean energy idiot’s guide to the Federal Budget
Giles Parkinson, REnewEconomy, 9 May 2012
Canberra holds firm on carbon price forecasts; miners win again; another blow to efficiency; connecting renewables and other Labor fairy tales; and where did all that solar funding go?

Analysis declares 'twilight of coal-fired power' in U.S.
Daniel Cusick, E&E, May 9, 2012
The era of U.S. coal-fired electric power generation will effectively end as new federal regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from fossil plants take effect, a new analysis from Bloomberg Government concludes.

Whatever happened to carbon capture?
Richard Black, BBC News, 12 May 2012
The process was patented back in the 1930s, and it is reckoned to be one of the most important technologies we have for tackling greenhouse gas emissions. So you might well ask: "Whatever happened to carbon capture and storage (CCS)?"


Reason and rationality alone are unlikely to change minds                    
Tim Soutphommasane, The Age, May 7, 2012
Our environmental and political beliefs begin in our gut, not our head.

Climate change is not a ‘message.’ It’s an objective reality and an urgent crisis. That’s why we must talk about it
KC Golden, Climate Access, 9 May 2012
Have climate campaigners learned the art of political communication too well?  We poll and focus group.  We segment audiences and target swings.


"Climate change has become the issue that dare not speak its name in Labor circles"
Climate Code Red, 10 May 2012
The Australian government has "given up on the art of public persuasion, most notably on the dangers of climate change" according to a former federal leader of the ALP.

'You overpaid, overeducated parasite': ANU climate scientist emails
Graham Readfearn,Crikey, 10 May 2012r32
Abusive emails and accounts of threatening behaviour towards climate research staff have been released by the Australian National University, following a Freedom of Information request.

Putting climate in the corner
David Spratt, Climate Spectator, 7 May 2012
Labor has not succeeded in selling its climate legislation, and neither has the environment NGOs because of astrategic failure in communicating the case for climate action.

Mature debate, not abuse, the only way forward
Rosslyn Beeby, Canberra Times, May 7, 2012
That scientists received death threats is sad, but irrefutable.

Oakeshott loses plot and falls through carbon floor
Giles Parkinson, REnewEconomy,  8 May 2012
Henry Derwent, the outgoing head of the International Emissions Trading Association, got it about right when he was asked the reason for the dramatic demise in international carbon markets over the last few years.

Why Don't TV Meteorologists Believe in Climate Change?
Katherine Bagley, InsideClimate News, May 7, 2012
Climate scientists agree in vast majority that human-caused global warming is occurring. But most U.S. weather forecasters don't. Why?

Emissions levy ad blitz to focus on compensation, not environment
Lenore Taylor, The Age, May 5, 2012
The government is preparing a carbon tax advertising campaign focusing on the compensation package of tax cuts and increased pension and family payments, rather than the environmental rationale for the tax.

NASA Study Finds Surprising New Methane Emission Source And Possible Amplifying Feedback: The Arctic Ocean
NASA, May 11, 2012
NASA scientist: “It’s possible that as large areas of sea ice melt and expose more ocean water, methane production may increase, leading to larger methane emissions…. So our finding could represent a noticeable new global source of methane.”


U.S. Experiences Warmest 12-Month Period On Record And Most Extreme January to April
Jeff Masters, via WunderBlog, 8 May 2012
The past twelve months were the warmest twelve months in U.S. history, said NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) on Tuesday, in their monthly “State of the Climate” report.

'We have seen the enemy': Bangladesh's war against climate change
John Vidal, Guardian,  9 May 2012
Devastating cyclones, floods and ruined crops have made Bangladesh 'the world's most aware society on climate change'

Club of Rome sees 2 degree Celsius rise in 40 years
Nina Chestney, Reuters, May 8, 2012
Rising carbon dioxide emissions will cause a global average temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius by 2052 and a 2.8 degree rise by 2080, as governments and markets are unlikely to do enough against climate change, the Club of Rome think tank said.

Lessons from Past Predictions: Hansen 1981
Dana Nuccitelli, Posted on 3 May 2012 by dana1981
In previous Lessons from Past Predictions entries we examined Hansen et al.'s 1988 global warming projections (here and here).  However, James Hansen was also the lead author on a previous study from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) projecting global warming in 1981, which readers may have surmised from my SkS ID, is as old as I am.

Evaluating impacts of oil palm plantations on land cover, carbon flux, and agrarian community lands in West Kalimantan
Carlsson et al, PNAS, 8 May 2012
Industrial agricultural plantations are a rapidly increasing yet largely unmeasured source of tropical land cover change. Here, we evaluate impacts of oil palm plantation development on land cover, carbon flux, and agrarian community lands in West Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.

Lindzen's Clouded Vision: Climate sensitivity
Dana Nuccitelli, Skeptical Science, 9 May 2012
When it comes to global climate change, there are two critical and intertwined, but distinct issues: science, and policy.  We generally focus on the science, because that is what dictates the appropriate policy response, or at least what our climate policy needs to accomplish.