A small, conservative movement is growing in Ontario to “reset...
The B.C. Supreme Court awarded $50,000 in damages to climate scientist Andrew Weaver in a ruling Friday that confirms articles published by the National Post defamed his character.
The ruling names Terence Corcoran, editor of the Financial Post, Peter Foster, a columnist at the National Post, Kevin Libin, a journalist that contributes to the Financial Post and National Post publisher Gordon Fisher.
Four articles published in 2009 and 2010 refer to Weaver, now MLA for Canada’s Green Party, as an “alarmist” who disseminates “agit-prop” and a “sensationalist” that “cherry-picked” data as “Canada’s warmest spinner-in-chief.” Weaver was previously a lead author on a number of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports.
In the damages section of the ruling (attached below), Madam Justice Emily Burke notes, “the defamation in this case was serious. It offended Dr. Weaver’s character and the defendants refused to publish a retraction.”
Justice Burke concluded the defendants “have been careless or indifferent to the accuracy of the facts,” adding, “they were more interested in espousing a particular view than assessing the accuracy of the facts.”
Weaver told DeSmog Canada he’s “thrilled” with the ruling.
A letter submitted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the State Department gives new weight to concerns the proposed $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline, destined to carry crude from the Alberta oilsands to export facilities along the Gulf of Mexico, will have significant climate impacts.
The EPA letter suggests existing analyses – which downplay the importance of greenhouse gas emissions associated with the project – are out of date and require revision in light of low global oil prices.
Due to the plummeting of oil prices and related market changes “it is important to revisit [the] conclusions” of previous reports, EPA told the State Department.
“Given recent large declines in oil prices and the uncertainty of oil price projections, the additional low prices scenario in the (State report) should be given additional weight during decision making, due to the potential implications of lower oil prices on project impacts, especially greenhouse gas emissions.”
The State Department is due to release a revised analysis of the Keystone XL project and is currently gathering comments from the EPA and other agencies.
As of January 26, the California Department of Water Resources reported that snowpack statewide was at just 27% of its normal level, which is 15% of the average for April 1, the point at which snow is typically expected to stop accumulating and begin to melt.
Which means, of course, that California is in for another dry year. Melting snowpack provides water to streams and rivers and replenishes reservoirs that are used for drinking water and agriculture.
In a cruel irony, a dry year also means more fossil fuels will have to be burned for electricity to make up for the shortfall in hydropower generation. And burning more fossil fuels will, of course, pump even more greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, making global warming worse.
In addition to being the hottest year on record in California, 2014 was also the third year of extreme drought in the state, which scientists tell us is a telltale sign that global warming is already impacting our lives right here and right now.
On January 21, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) again displayed the same deception/incompetence that pervaded his book, The Greatest Hoax (2012).
In this video segment (3:00-5:20), he presented a poster on the Senate floor that matches the image below from “Kyoto by Degrees,” an anonymous Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Opinion piece, June 21, 2005. Both contained claims plausibly called academic or journalistic deception, created for public confusion.
Regardless of ancient tempreatures, modern temperature rise is human-caused, not just natural variation: you damaged your furnace so it now ignores the thermostat. Heat varies erratically, room by room, and day by day, but each week the house is overall wamer than the last. Your attic Arctic fridge's ice cubes are melting and even the basement freezer is starting to struggle. The furnace will take months to fix, and you need to start, whether or not you believe rumors that some previous owner experienced warmer weather.
Following is the WSJ image Inhofe used without mentioning that source:
“Trend in average” : Deception.
The original curve was sketched in 1965 by Hubert Lamb, who grafted estimates of 900-1680AD with 1680-1961AD measurements compiled by Gordon Manley. It covered a 21x34-mile patch of England.
“exactly as shown”: Falsification. false citation. Real science uses captions and caveats, ignored here by cherry-pickers who plucked the graph out of context and even altered the image.
“mean”: Fabrication to explain an unprovenanced image.
Someone just made it up. The IPCC wrote: ”The dotted line “nominally represents” the start of the 20th century.”
Lamb MWP curve never global, real science improves
The attached 4-page excerpt from IPCC(1990) includes the real p.202 image in context, shown below for easy comparison with this altered version. Someone changed “Years before present” (sic) to “Year,” deleted (c), capitalized all words and converted sans-serif to serif font.
The resulting image was copied along murky paths, including onto p.33 of Inhofe's Greatest Hoax book, which cited it as “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate Change, the IPCC Scientific Assessment 202 (1990). His story is clearly refuted by IPCC's surrounding text pp.199-203.
The real image was clearly captioned a schematic, i.e., a sketch. The 1990 scientists said the LIA was global, but they stated clear reservations about MWP as global and synchronous. IPCC(1992) had other curves, not this.
In his State of the Union address earlier this week, President Obama made the case for Congress granting him fast track authority to negotiate free trade deals.
“I’m asking both parties to give me trade promotion authority to protect American workers, with strong new trade deals from Asia to Europe that aren’t just free, but fair.”
Obama is specifically seeking special authority to negotiate the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a so-called free trade agreement his administration is in the midst of negotiating with Canada, Mexico and 10 countries in the Asia-Pacific region like Australia, Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam—countries that, together, constitute 40% of the world’s GDP and 26% of global trade, according to the Washington Post.
Despite opposition from his own party, Obama has been on the stump for “trade promotion authority,” also known as “fast track authority,” which Congress would have to grant, essentially waiving its Constitutional right to give “advice and consent” on any international agreements negotiated by the president
On January 8, several Democrat members of Congress went so far as to join with union leaders and environmental and consumer advocates to hold a press conference on their opposition to fast track authority for the TPP.
In a letter to Congress sent the day after the State of the Union speech, the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council and 42 other environmental groups urged the rejection of forthcoming legislation that would grant Obama fast track authority and “enable the president to push through flawed international trade agreements at the expense of the environment, public health, and communities.”
In today's January 15, 2015 episode DeSmogCAST host Farron Cousins joins DeSmoggers Carol Linnitt, Kyla Mandel, and Mike Gaworecki to discuss Canada's efforts to prevent a NAFTA-led investigation into the management of Alberta's oilsands tailings ponds.
Lastly we discuss recent developments in the denier/skeptics debate and a recent open letter to media, calling on journalists to reserve the favourable term 'skeptic' for those engaged in truly scientific critical investigation.
This is a guest post by David Suzuki.
Abundant, cheap fossil fuels have driven explosive technological, industrial and economic expansion for more than a century. The pervasive infrastructure developed to accommodate this growth makes it difficult to contemplate rapidly shifting away from coal, oil and gas, which creates a psychological barrier to rational discourse on energy issues.
The ecological and true economic costs of energy use force us to scrutinize our way of living. And because our infrastructure doesn’t allow us to entirely avoid fossil fuels, we must face the contradiction between how we should live and constraints against doing so.
Canada has no national energy plan, other than governmental desire to be a fossil-fuelled energy-export superpower. Given the consequences of human-induced climate change already hitting home, you’d think the highest priority of governments at all levels would be to decide on the lowest-emission energy path. But politicians focused on election intervals have difficulty dealing with generational issues.
California Governor Jerry Brown used the occasion of his fourth inaugural address to propose an ambitious new clean energy target for the state: 50% renewable energy by 2030.
“We are at a crossroads,” Brown said in announcing the proposal, according to Climate Progress. “The challenge is to build for the future, not steal from it, to live within our means and to keep California ever golden and creative.”
Already the leader in installed solar capacity and third when it comes to wind power, the Golden State had previously adopted a Renewable Portfolio Standard mandate to procure 33% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, a goal it was easily on pace to meet.
Environmentalists were quick to applaud Governor Brown’s 50% by 2030 proposal, which would give California the most ambitious renewable energy target of any US state, eclipsing Hawaii’s 40% by 2030 target.
But given the current growth rate of California’s renewable sector, even 50% by 2030 might not end up being that ambitious, according to Abigail Dillen, Vice President of Climate and Energy for Earthjustice.