Are Canada's Tar Sands in Peril?

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Stephen Harper could be in for rude awakening. For years, he has been dealing with likeminded climate change deniers in the Bush Administration who were only too happy to buy as much oil from the filthy Alberta tar sands as they could get their hands on.

The times they are a changing.

In the last week, key appointments in Obama’s cabinet have all made a point of detailing the perils of climate change.

At his confirmation hearing today, Dr. Steven Chu, the Nobel laureate physicist and incoming head of the Energy Department, warned of the dire consequences of unchecked global warming. In her confirmation hearing, Senator Hillary Clinton said that climate change is an “unambiguous security threat” and pledged an energy policy to reduce our carbon emissions.

Obama himself has detailed a cap and trade carbon system for the US that will rely on absolute rather than so-called “intensity” targets championed by Harper’s friends in the Alberta oil patch.

Joseph Romm Slams Clueless Economists' Climate Views

Joseph Romm at Climate Progress is running a great series on the idiocy of MEOWs - Mainstream Economists who Opine on Weather.

Canadians might want to look at Part II, a lovely dismembering of Yale economist Robert Mendelsohn’s goofy argument that Canada will actually benefit from global warming.

Climate denier blog site to be crowned "Best Science Blog"

There once was a little known website fighting the so-called “global warming alarmism” being spread by that underground cabel of conspirators some of us call “scientists.” But the site was no longer little after the Matt Drudge, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity right wing echo machine got through with it.

Since it’s anointment, the Watt’s Up With That blog run by former TV weatherman Anthony Watts has become quite the sensation amongst the climate denial blog comment trolls. And now it seems that the site is about to win the award for “Best Science Blog” in this year’s Weblog Awards.

Has it seriously come to this? Are there really no blogs out there more worthy than one that spends its days trumpeting the likes of Junk Science as a reason we should ignore the dire warnings of climate scientists at the top science academies in the world?

There are lots of great science sites out there and there are some really good ones nominated along with Watt’s Up With That. I would like to think that this is simply a case of voter apathy. After all, these types of Web Awards always come down to who can pull the most votes.

So I’m putting this appeal out there.

Take a few minutes today - the polls close at 5pm EST today, January 13th - and cast your vote by clicking here.

Here’s some others that are in the running: The controversial crusader against Intelligent Design, PZ Myers is running a close second to Watts, so the strategic vote would obviously go to PZ. Also check out Real Climate run by practicing scientists at NASA.

John Coleman: Still Waiting for that Lawsuit

There are cranky skeptics and then there are cranky skeptics. A perfect example of the latter – second only, perhaps, to our old favorite, Jim Inhofe – is John Coleman, the founder of The Weather Channel and San Diego weatherman. (As you might recall, Coleman very publicly broke with TWC last year when he accused the network of succumbing to “global warming alarmism.”)

Coleman has been peddling his brand of reactionary skepticism for years – memorably calling it the “greatest scam in history” – culminating in his recent appearance on Fox News’ “Red Eye,” during which he vowed to sue Al Gore for fraud. Yes, you read that right: sue him.

Watch it:

Time to Pull Over

Ever been driving down the highway and that little red engine light comes on? It’s just a small thing but it usually means something really bad is about to happen.

Something similar happened with our planet this week. A group of scientists has just discovered that the oceans ability to absorb carbon dioxide may be collapsing all over the world due to warmer water temperatures.

That is not good news. Our planet’s oceans helpfully soak up about 11 billion tonnes of human-produced carbon dioxide every year. That’s about one quarter of all the additional carbon that we are dumping into the atmosphere – and it looks like that gravy train may be grinding to a halt.

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