climate change

See You Later, Alligator -- NOT!

Whenever the world's tropical seas warm several degrees, Earth has experienced mass extinctions over millions of years, according to a first-of-its-kind statistical study of fossil records.

And scientists fear it may be about to happen again — but in a matter of several decades, not tens of millions of years.

White House Muzzles CDC Chief on Climate Health Impacts

The White House significantly edited testimony prepared for a Senate hearing on the impact of climate change on health, deleting key portions citing diseases that could flourish in a warmer climate.

A draft of the testimony submitted for White House review shows that six pages of details about specific disease and other health problems that might flourish if the Earth warms were not delivered at the hearing.

Worried about the future? Then don't peek!

World oil production has already peaked and will fall by half as soon as 2030, according to a report which also warns that extreme shortages of fossil fuels will lead to wars and social breakdown.

The German-based Energy Watch Group will release its study in London today saying that global oil production peaked in 2006 - much earlier than most experts had expected. The report, which predicts that production will now fall by 7% a year, comes after oil prices set new records almost every day last week, on Friday hitting more than $90 a barrel.

Ooops! Someone misunderestimated again!

Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere have risen 35% faster than expected since 2000, says a study.

International scientists found that inefficiency in the use of fossil fuels increased levels of CO2 by 17%. The other 18% came from a decline in the natural ability of land and oceans to soak up CO2 from the atmosphere.

Did Bush’s Mars Plan Scuttle DSCOVR?

When the now-Nobel Laureate Al Gore proposed the DSCOVR mission way back in 1998, he was widely jeered by Republicans for interfering in the scientific business of NASA.

“Gore-sat”, “Gore-cam”, and “the multi-million dollar screen saver” were all quips trotted out on the floor of the Senate and Congress in opposition to the mission.

DSCOVR was a victim of such partisan politics. Even though it is fully completed at a cost of $100 million, this unique spacecraft remains in a storage box in Maryland, rather than providing critical data on the progress of climate change.
NASA quietly cancelled DSCOVR last year, citing “competing priorities”.

What could they be? Perhaps the biggest was George Bush’s edict NASA in January 2004 to put a human on the surface of Mars.

Whitehouse Stonewalls DSCOVR Information Request

If you're not interested in the issue of climate change, fine, but this story is as much about that as it is about a new ruling that further erodes your right to information from your government.
Digging up information on the cancellation of the DSCOVR climate satellite mission has been like pulling teeth. The dental work continued this week, this time with the Whitehouse.

Last month, I filed a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA) to the Office of Administration in Washington DC, asking for copies of any records “relating to the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) mission, formerly known as Triana, from the period January 1, 2000 to the present.” (documents attached to the end of this post).

Update: someone just sent this Washington Post article to us, seems we're pretty justified in our outrage.

ABC's John Stossel's Embarrassing Global Warming Rhetoric

No, Stossel shouldn't be embarrassed, he's well past that point. ABC News should be though, over Stossel's climate change denial piece set to air tonight. 

Stossel writes:

But is it a crisis? The globe is warming, but is it really all our fault? And is it true the debate is over? No. What you think you know may not be so.”

9 month waiting game for State Department FOIA request

In July, I wrote a piece about a major US climate report being stealthily released on a Friday afternoon by the State Department. You can find the report here, it was quite a scathing admission by the US government that very little was being done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and that they had very little planned to deal with it down the road.

I was not surprised that the report was released on a Friday afternoon, in the dog days of summer, without a mention in the State Department's daily press briefing - it's a common PR tactic when you have to release bad news.

Exxon attacked by polar bears!

U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight Chairman Brad Miller (D-NC) has sent a letter (pdf) to the ExxonMobil Corporation requesting all records since 2002 related to their support for scientists working on polar bears and other Arctic animals.

This request comes in the wake of an “opinion” piece appearing in the journal Ecological Complexity by seven scientists claiming that there is no evidence of decline in the polar bear population of West Hudson Bay as a result of global warming.

Step it Up 2007 - Action on Climate Change

Probably readers will recall the Step It Up rallies that we organized in the spring–1,400 protests in each of the 50 states that helped make calls for 80% cuts in carbon emissions a standard part of the global warming debate.
 
We're at it again–on Nov. 3 we're holding demonstrations all across the country (well, except in North Dakota, at least so far).
 
This time we're trying to cut the number down a little bit (last time we had a bit of the cannibalization problem that Burger King must encounter when opening new sites) and instead concentrating on getting politicians to actually come address the issue, head-on no excuses, tell us what the hell you're going to do. (You can see the map of all the rallies so far at stepitup07.org, and it's not too late to organize one in your community.)

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