Debunking the 'Skeptics Handbook': More CO2 Does Worsen Climate Change

If you were to take the sum “knowledge” of global warming skeptics and distill it into a short, quasi-readable manifesto, you’d end up with something like Joanne Nova’s “The Skeptics Handbook.”

For someone who claims to have been a “veteran believer in greenhouse gases from 1990 – 2007,” Nova sure has a way of rehashing a lot of the same old tired arguments that climate scientists have been shooting down for years – particularly her central point that there is no evidence to link rising carbon dioxide emissions to higher temperatures (more on that later).

Perhaps the most odious aspect of this handbook is that it seems to be aimed squarely at a younger audience – what with its dumbing down of the science and constant repetition of the same flawed arguments. Having failed to gain ground with the adults, the skeptics are presumably turning to the younger generations now to carry their water.

While I’d encourage anyone who wants a substantive discussion of the science behind climate change to go consult the experts (actual scientists like the Real Climate blogger team, for example) – a revolutionary concept, I know – I’ll do my best to debunk some of Nova’s most egregious arguments over the next few days. I’ll get things started today with her “bottom line”: that adding more CO2 to the atmosphere does not cause global warming.

The easiest way to dismiss this point, as Grist contributor and Texas A&M University Professor Andrew Dessler noted, is to look at Venus’ atmosphere. Though it shares several features in common with our planet – hence its sometimes being called Earth’s “sister planet” – it differs in one crucial aspect: the amount of CO2 in its atmosphere.

Todd Carmichael has made it to the South Pole!

We have just got word that American expeditionist and DeSmogBlog writer Todd Carmichael has made it to the South Pole. This makes Todd the very first American ever to reach the South Pole solo and unaided.

And to top it off, Todd has set a new time speed record!

Todd has been writing on DeSmogBlog and Huffington Post for the last year raising awarness about the negative impacts of human-caused global warming on the Antarctica. Here’s one of his most popular pieces: Something Strange is Happening at the Coldest, Driest Place on Earth

Wayne Moore, a physician’s assistant working at the South Pole, sends an update about Todd via the guestbook on this site: “To all his very concerned friends & family, he has made a rapid recovery from the trip and has become a local hero at the station.” Thanks very much for the word Wayne! Besides being an astronaut, I can’t think of anything cooler than working in Antarctica. Cheers to you and everyone else down there.

Now that you’re a hero Todd, you can get back to work helping us!

But seriously, we met Todd about a year ago when he asked if he could write on DeSmogBlog to help promote solutions to reducing greenhouse gas. After a cursory glance at his credentials we quickly obliged. In fact, we even made Todd his own section on the site.

Todd is one of those amazing people you read about that dream big and make the best of everything that life has to offer. The whole DeSmogBlog team is proud to be associated with Todd and really, really hope that he doesn’t come back from his trek too famous to write for us once in a while.

So over this holiday season when you pop a champagne cork, make sure one is dedicated to Todd.

Massive Coal Ash Spill in Tennessee puts the lie to Clean Coal

When it comes to PR spindoctoring there is always one surefire cure - reality.

If you were fooled by the multimillion dollar “clean coal” PR marketing campaign take a look at this video footage of a massive flood of toxic coal sludge from a dam that burst at a local coal company’s processing plant in Tennessee yesterday.

The spill covered as many as 400 acres of land with toxic ash as high as six feet deep.

You can go here to see some local TV news coverage. Here’s some raw footage of the spill zone:

Coal 'Smells good, too!' [video]

Did you know that coal is so clean that it even smells good?

Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection/“Reality” coalition has put out a new ad.  It’s the sequel to their first ad, which revealed the truth about clean coal.

Watch it:

Mmmm… I’m off to buy some for the whole family!

Happy Holidays!

Clean Coal is a Joke

A little Christmas humor from online personality Rob Cottingham at Social Signal who knows all too well that clean coal is a joke. 2008-12-23-cleancoalchristmascartoon.gif

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