climate change

Check out My Expedition Earth Facebook Group

Even us Polar Explorers are on Facebook! While this is where you can find all the updates on my preparations for the trip and daily dispatches when I'm in the South Pole, you can also find them on here on the Expedition Earth Facebook group.

Please join and help spread the message by asking all your friends on Facebook to join up as well!

Thanks!

1956 New York Times Article Warned of Warmer Climate

Seems that the idea that human activity is causing climate isn't new at all. The headline in the October 28, 1956 edition of the New York Times warns:

Judge tells US to decide on polar bears, poll tells presidential hopefuls to gird for action

A federal judge has rejected the Bush Administration’s bid for further delay and ordered it to decide by May 15 whether to provide protection for polar bears whose Arctic habitat is melting due to global warming.

The decision could also lead to restrictions on oil and gas exploration offshore Alaska and curbs on greenhouse emissions.

Meanwhile, a new poll has found that two-thirds of adult Americans believe the next president should do something about climate change, pronto.


Climate Change and Pine Beetles

To understand just how complex, scary and immediate climate change is, look no further than the case of the tiny mountain pine beetle.

Populations of this tree-eating insect have exploded over the last ten years due to warmer winters, devastating the majestic forests of western Canada and destroying over $20 billion in timber.

Now comes a frightening study published in the prestigious journal Nature that that the huge swaths of dead trees killed by the beetles are themselves emitting enormous quantities of carbon into the atmosphere as they decompose – further exacerbating our climate problems.

EPA scientists drop bombshell in political-interference survey

Science around environmental matters has long been dismissed in the rough and tumble of U.S. politics, but many scientists contend things got markedly worse through two terms under President Bush, as incidents have shown how political appointees were involved in shaping government reports on everything from climate change to condoms.

Now, more than half the 1,600 Environmental Protection Agency scientists who responded to an online questionnaire complained of political pressure in interpreting and performing their work.

And four in 10 scientists who have worked at the agency for more than a decade said interference has been more prevalent in the last five years than previously.

Here's the full report, Interference at the EPA, by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

A Short, Sweet Rebuttal to Newsbuster's Swedish Tree Nonsense

Yesterday I wrote a piece outlining the apparently illogical pseudo-science being sold by Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters as justification for doing nothing to solve the crisis of human-induced global warming. 

Shepard tries to make the claim that the discovery of the world's oldest tree by Dr. Leif Kullman, professor at Umeå University's department of ecology and environmental science in Sweden, somehow brought into question the entire theory of human-caused global warming. 

Presumably, Shepard did not attempt to contact Dr. Kullman before putting in front of his readership the misinformation that he did. I know this because I emailed Dr. Kullman last night to comment on Sheppard's piece and got this concise answer:

I find it quite strange how an old tree can be used in the climate change controversy.” 

So will Newsbusters be willing to correct their mistake? Will Sheppard do the responsible thing and print a correction? 

Newsbusters Makes Fantastical Leaps of Logic on Oldest Living Tree News

It didn't take long for Noel Shepard at Newsbusters to twist a new study on the discovery of the oldest living tree to fit his notion that the world' top scientists have it all wrong when it comes to human-induced climate change.

The study, carried out by a team led by Leif Kullman, professor at Umeå University's department of ecology and environmental science in Sweden, has found the world's oldest tree living in the mountains of Sweden.

Somehow Sheppard has got it in his head that this finding:

[results] in a total rewrite of climate history while bringing into serious question global warming theories espoused by Nobel Laureate Al Gore and his sycophant devotees.”

Nature throws one-two punch at global warming

Reducing greenhouse emissions won’t be enough to stop global warming.

Three respected climate experts made the troubling argument in Nature that changing light bulbs, carbon taxes and cap-and-trade systems will have little impact because warming is already greater than anticipated and set to go much higher.

So much so, in fact, that we’re going to have to find new technology to bail us out.

Bush, Burning

Well, everyone is teeing off on Bush's latest global warming speech–and no wonder.

I mean, it's pretty staggering when you think about it: The campaigning George W. Bush in the year 2000 was more progressive on this increasingly pressing issue than the lame duck George W. Bush in 2008.

The major news from Bush's speech, policy-wise, is that he said we'll “stop the growth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2025”–or, just under two decades from now. But everybody who knows anything about this issue knows that would amount to running a completely unacceptable risk.

Strike three on climate change for the Bush White House?

President Bush is set to make an announcement on climate change today.

Will it be a third strike for Bush?

Washington Post columnist Dan Froomkin thinks so:

Bush's trick on climate change is to wait until others are about to embrace mandatory limits on greenhouse gases, then make a major speech about goals and process, without any specifics on measures or penaltiesHis planned speech this afternoon recalls his two earlier attempts to muddy the debate and buy time.”DeSmog writer Chris Mooney is monitoring the announcement and will weigh in with his analysis later today.

UPDATE: And Strike Three, you're out Mr. President

Joe Romm at Climate Progress writes: Bush/Nero speech: “Technology, technology, blah, blah, let's fiddle until 2025

Dave Roberts at Grist writes: Same as it ever was

Andrew Revkin at the New York Times Dot Earth Blog marks up Bush's speech with his insights.

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