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Some reading for the “anti-warmalists” and “climate-change deniers”


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Author Topic: Some reading for the “anti-warmalists” and “climate-change deniers”  (Read 10545 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #600 on: December 21, 2016, 04:19:37 pm »



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« Reply #601 on: December 21, 2016, 06:18:31 pm »

Oh look the muppet pasted another picture i just love it

didn't know scientist were here 1000's of years ago
  Grin

cringe alert

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« Reply #602 on: December 21, 2016, 06:54:40 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Amid smoggy days in London, growing calls to clean up Europe’s toxic air

Across Europe, cities are trying to turn around the deadly results of pushing the supposedly cleaner fuel.

By GRIFF WITTE | 4:27PM EST - Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A bus carries commuters as it travels over Waterloo Bridge in London. — Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters.
A bus carries commuters as it travels over Waterloo Bridge in London. — Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters.

LONDON — It's Christmas time on Oxford Street. Brilliant displays of white lights rain from above. Decked-out shoppers dash from one gaudy sale to the next. And Johnny Conquest breathes in poison.

“The air is horrible. The taxis stop right here, and when they take off, boom, you can taste it,” says the 67-year-old as the heavenly smell of the caramel peanuts he hawks from a humble street stall mingles with the sickly stench of diesel. “I'm on the worst corner in London.”

In at least one important respect, it may be the worst in the world.

London has come a long way since the days when its infamous coal-fired pollution shrouded Sherlock in a permanent haze or struck at least 4,000 residents dead in less than a week.

But the city's overreliance on diesel-powered vehicles has given it a dubious distinction: a global leader in nitrogen dioxide, a particularly noxious pollutant that shortens the lives of thousands of Londoners a year.

Here and in cities across environmentally minded Europe, NO² levels are substantially higher than in North America, or even in Asian and African megacities whose names have become bywords for dirty air. And that is all because of decades of government incentives designed to spur the purchase of supposedly cleaner diesel cars and trucks.

“It's a complete policy failure,” said Gary Fuller, who directs an air-quality-study center at King's College London. “No one could defend this.”

Rather than try, European mayors are declaring war on diesel, hoping to give their cities a clean start.

This month, mayors of three major European capitals, plus Mexico City, announced ambitious plans to ban all diesel vehicles within the next decade.

“We can no longer tolerate air pollution and the health problems and deaths it causes, particularly for our most vulnerable citizens,” said Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who was joined in the pledge by the mayors of Athens and Madrid.

London's new mayor, Sadiq Khan, has not gone as far — yet. But he has made reducing air pollution a central pillar of his young administration, more than doubling funding for clean-air campaigns with a billion-dollar commitment and announcing plans that will radically transform the city's fleet of iconic — but diesel-dependent — taxis and buses.

“With nearly 10,000 Londoners dying early every year due to air pollution, tackling poor air quality is a public health emergency,” Khan said in announcing the moves.

The scale of the challenge has been on display recently in cities across the continent. Paris this month experienced its worst air-pollution episode in a decade, with a thick blanket of ugly air smothering the City of Light for days. Municipal leaders temporarily made public transit free to cut cars from the roads.

In Milan, safe limits on dangerous fine particles were breached each day for a week, prompting the city council to stiffen a ban on the worst-polluting diesel vehicles. Wood-burning fires also were forbidden, a decision that echoed that of a town near Naples, which last year outlawed pizza-making in a bid to cleanse its choking air.

London, too, has been feeling the effects, with air-quality-monitoring stations this month showing some of the worst pollutant levels in recent years. The forecast for the coming days prompted one green activist to quip that Santa should take care not to exert himself during his rounds in Britain.

But as a habitual London visitor, Santa will have seen worse over the city's long history.


London is shrouded in fog on December 1st. — Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.
London is shrouded in fog on December 1st. — Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

Air quality has been a problem in London since at least the Middle Ages. Rapid industrialization and urban growth lent a chronically smoky backdrop to literature throughout the Victorian period. In December 1952, coal-belching homes and factories enveloped London in smog so thick that air, rail and road traffic was halted for five days as cows dropped dead in their fields and people suffocated on the streets.

That event — known as the Great Smog — inspired the world's first clean-air legislation four years later. The regulation of furnaces and fireplaces, plus the banning of coal in key areas, ushered in dramatic improvements. But it also gave lawmakers the illusion that the problem of urban air pollution had been solved.

A fateful bet on diesel has brought it back with a vengeance. Governments across Europe have aggressively promoted diesel vehicles, reasoning that diesel's lower carbon-dioxide output makes it gentler on the planet than gasoline. In London, the streets are filled with diesel-powered buses and taxis. Continent-wide, diesel accounts for about half the car market.

But diesel has one glaring disadvantage: It is a major source of NO², a pollutant that stunts lung growth and has been linked to a range of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. The diesel push has meant that although air in Europe is far cleaner overall than in many parts of the globe, it still can be — and often is — deadly.

“It's been a public health catastrophe on an unimaginable scale,” said Simon Birkett, founder and director of the advocacy group Clean Air in London. “We'll probably never know the full extent of the impact.”

In particularly traffic-swollen areas of central London, it took just the first eight days of 2016 to breach the European Union's NO² limits for the entire year.

Samantha Walker, policy director for Asthma UK, said that such high concentrations of pollutants can bring on an attack in minutes and that prolonged exposure among children can cause health impacts that last a lifetime.

Citing those health costs, Khan, London's mayor since May, has launched plans to expand zones in the capital where only low-emission vehicles can tread, and to replace thousands of diesel-powered buses and taxis with hybrid and fully electric vehicles.

Birkett, the activist, said Khan deserves plaudits for such moves. But he also urged the mayor to go further by joining Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City in pledging to eliminate diesel vehicles altogether by 2025.

“There's an opportunity here to re-engineer cities,” Birkett said. “We need to ban diesel just like we banned coal 60 years ago.”

Fuller, the King’s College scientist, said an outright diesel ban would be “a huge challenge” for any city given the dependence on diesel for public transit and delivery trucks.

Air-quality solutions, Fuller said, need to be “holistic,” with a focus not just on what comes out of a vehicle's tailpipe but also on persuading people to abandon their cars altogether in favor of public transit, walking and biking.

In a sprawling and ancient city such as London, that is not always easy. For years, officials have batted around the idea of pedestrianizing Oxford Street, London's blinged-out central shopping district. There is just one problem.

“There's nowhere else for the traffic to go,” said Conquest, the sidewalk peanut vendor.

Instead of a walker's paradise, Oxford Street remains a vehicle-clogged dystopia, with some of the world's worst NO² levels. Buses and taxis chug along emitting diesel fumes day and night, while tall buildings trap the noxious gases for pedestrians to breathe.

Conquest, a slight and spry man who has been selling his wares on Oxford Street for 50 years, said he has been lucky. He stays in shape and has been spared the health effects that have hobbled so many others. But he says he does not doubt that decades spent breathing toxic air have taken their toll.

“I run marathons,” he said. “I would have won a few of them if I hadn't been standing on this corner.”


• Griff Witte is The Washington Post's London bureau chief. He previously served as the paper's deputy foreign editor and as the bureau chief in Kabul, Islamabad and Jerusalem.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related stories:

 • VIDEO: Londoners talk about their city's noxious air pollution

 • Paris is so smoggy that the city will pay for your bus fare

 • In Scotland, gusts of wind usher in a quiet energy revolution


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/amid-smoggy-days-in-london-growing-calls-to-clean-up-europes-toxic-air/2016/12/20/909612aa-c203-11e6-92e8-c07f4f671da4_story.html
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« Reply #603 on: December 21, 2016, 09:08:37 pm »

nothing compared to china is it?



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« Reply #604 on: January 09, 2017, 11:25:57 am »



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« Reply #605 on: January 19, 2017, 03:12:03 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

Wildfires, sea level rise, coral bleaching: Climate change is already here

By SEAN GREENE | 3:50PM PST - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Clockwise from top left: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times; Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times; Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times; John McConnico/Associated Press.
Clockwise from top left: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times; Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times; Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times;
John McConnico/Associated Press.


FROM extreme wildfires in the Western United States to melting ice sheets in Antarctica, the effects of rising temperatures on Earth have not gone unnoticed.

On Wednesday, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced 2016 was the hottest year on record. Before that, the record was set in 2015. Before that, it was 2014.

Both agencies linked the record-breaking temperatures to human-caused climate change. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released by cars, factories and power plants trap more heat in the atmosphere, causing temperatures to climb upward.

Although the most severe consequences of this warming have yet to come — especially if greenhouse gas emissions remain at current levels — some of the effects have already been felt. Scientists, public health officials and even the Pentagon are watching with great concern. Here’s a look at some of those effects:


Wildfires in the West are twice as bad

A stand of burned ponderosa pines is silhouetted against a smoky sky near Yosemite National Park in August 2013. The trees burned in the Rim fire, which consumed more than 250,000 acres. — Photograph: Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times.
A stand of burned ponderosa pines is silhouetted against a smoky sky near Yosemite National Park
in August 2013. The trees burned in the Rim fire, which consumed more than 250,000 acres.
 — Photograph: Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times.


Over the last 30 years, the West has seen a dramatic increase in wildfires. Scientists recently determined that human-caused warming nearly doubled the area of land that has burned since the 1980s. That amounts to 16,000 additional square miles, or the size of Massachusetts and Connecticut combined.

The difference was the amount of plants, trees and dead vegetation that dried out in the warmer, drier conditions that have become more common in recent decades. Without these dry conditions, half as much land would have burned, the study found. The authors said they may have underestimated the role climate change plays in wildfire. Their analysis did not include other effects of warming, such as the spread of tree-killing bark beetles and declining snowfall in the West.


As the Arctic ice melts, sea levels rise

More storms falling over land have helped offset the rate of sea level rise caused by melting glaciers and ice sheets. — Photograph: John McConnico/Associated Press.
More storms falling over land have helped offset the rate of sea level rise caused by melting glaciers
and ice sheets.  — Photograph: John McConnico/Associated Press.


Melting glaciers and diminishing sea ice have increased the amount of water in the oceans, leading sea levels around the world to rise by an average of about 6 inches over the last century. At the same time, higher temperatures have caused seas to expand. By the end of the century, waters could rise by 6 feet or more, threatening 13.1 million residents of U.S. coastal cities with flooding, two studies predict.

In another study, scientists determined that the average American produces about 16 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year and is responsible for melting about 50 square meters of Arctic sea ice.

Higher sea levels mean high tides can more easily swamp low-lying coastal regions, such as South Florida. This also means storm surges from hurricanes and tropical storms will hit coastlines harder. Scientists say the surge from Hurricane Matthew, which struck Florida in October, was amplified by climate change.


A sea of problems

A school of fish hovers over staghorn coral on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. — Photograph: Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times.
A school of fish hovers over staghorn coral on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
 — Photograph: Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times.


The oceans absorb heat and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. That buffers some of the effects of climate change seen on land, but it shifts them under the sea.

A warmer ocean is capable of holding more dissolved carbon dioxide, which causes the water to become more acidic over time. Ocean acidification, sometimes called the twin of global warming, can interfere with the ability of shellfish and corals to form hard shells. It also makes fish and sea snails behave abnormally.

Last year saw record coral bleaching events, leading one publication to pen a somewhat hyperbolic obituary for the Great Barrier Reef. The truth is corals can recover from some bleaching events — if the temperature goes back down.


Plants and animals on the move

An alpine chipmunk, found only in the high elevations of the central and southern Sierra Nevada, has seen its natural range restricted by climate change. — Photograph: Juan Parra/Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC Berkeley.
An alpine chipmunk, found only in the high elevations of the central and southern Sierra Nevada, has seen
its natural range restricted by climate change. — Photograph: Juan Parra/Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.


In response to rising temperatures, thousands of plant and animal species have migrated uphill or toward the poles where it's still cool enough for them. The result: Species leave their ancestral homes, causing local extinctions in those areas. As suitable habitat becomes harder to come by, many species — such as the alpine chipmunk of the Sierra Nevada — will find themselves boxed in to small ranges, increasing the risk of a species-wide global extinction.

But as some species flounder in warmer temperatures, others thrive. Global warming has opened up new habitats for mosquitoes, which transmitted the Zika virus throughout South America and contributed to the near-collapse of native birds on the Hawaiian islands.


Warmer temperatures may be nice for now, but the feeling won't last

People enjoy the beach on a hot day in Malibu in February 2016. — Photograph: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times.
People enjoy the beach on a hot day in Malibu in February 2016. — Photograph: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times.

In April, a study found that 80% of the U.S. population lives in counties that are experiencing more pleasant weather than they did 40 years ago. This boils down to warmer winters and milder summers. But by the end of the century, that trend will flip.

If greenhouse gas emissions continue unchecked, more people in the U.S. will experience hotter summers and more common heatwaves.

That has public health officials worried. In Los Angeles, rising temperatures could degrade the quality of our air and water and lead to an increase in cardiovascular disease and asthma. A 2006 heat wave saw triple-digit temperatures last for more than a week, killing 650 people in California.


__________________________________________________________________________

Related story:

 • Earth sets heat record in 2016 — for the third year in a row


http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-global-warming-effects-20170118-story.html
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« Reply #606 on: February 08, 2017, 12:39:55 pm »


HEATING COIL
(click on the picture to read the news story)
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« Reply #607 on: February 11, 2017, 09:32:57 pm »


from The Washington Post....

NASA took on an unprecedented study of Greenland’s melting.
Now, the data are coming in.


The new information suggests the possibility of a more rapid rate of global sea-level rise.

By CHRIS MOONEY | 5:06PM EST - Friday, February 10, 2017

A research ship is on Greenland's northwest coast during a NASA mission to survey the seafloor. — Photograph: NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech.
A research ship is on Greenland's northwest coast during a NASA mission to survey the seafloor.
 — Photograph: NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech.


IN 2015, in a moment of science communication genius, NASA created a mission called “OMG”. The acronym basically ensured that a new scientific mission — measuring how quickly the Oceans are Melting Greenland — would get maximum press attention.

The subject is actually extremely serious. OMG amounts to a comprehensive attempt, using ships, planes, and other research tools, to understand what's happening as warm seas creep into large numbers of fjords that serve as avenues into the vast ice sheet — many of which contain large and partly submerged glaciers that are already melting and contributing to sea-level rise.

Greenland is, in fact, the largest global contributor to rising seas — adding about a millimeter per year to the global ocean, NASA says — and it has 7.36 potential meters (over 24 feet) to give. The question is how fast it could lose that ice, and over five years, OMG plans to pull in enough data to give the best answer yet.

“We've never observed Greenland disappearing before, and that's what OMG is about,” says Josh Willis, a researcher at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory who is the principal investigator on the mission. “We want to watch how it shrinks over the next five years, and see how we can use that information to better predict the future.”

And now the first data are coming in, in the form of not one but two new studies published in the journal Oceanography by NASA scientists and affiliated university researchers, seeking to measure the swirl of oceans around Greenland and in particular how a warm, deep layer of Atlantic-originating water is moving and interacting with its glaciers.

Basically, it works like this: Waters swirl in a broadly clockwise rotation around the enormous island (see below), often darting inward toward the outlying glaciers along the way. And in fjords that are the deepest, the Atlantic layer, which tends to be over 200 meters (more than 650 feet) deep, has the greatest chance of causing sustained melting.

“Where it's deep, there's warm water,” says Willis. Above the Atlantic layer, meanwhile, is a layer of colder polar water that has far less of an effect on glaciers — meaning that the big and thick glaciers often get hit hard at their bases, even as the small and thin ones don't necessarily get hit much at all.

Here's a figure that the scientists have produced, showing the overall flow of waters around the ice island:




The newly published research does not present any answer — yet — to the big question animating all of this: How fast will Greenland melt and raise seas in a way that threatens, say, Florida?

In order to answer this key question, the researchers need comprehensive data on the depths and shapes of the fjords, the thickness of the glaciers, and the behavior of the oceans around a Greenland coastline that, NASA notes, is 27,000 miles in length. Then, they will need to feed all of that information into a computer simulation that projects climate change forward to 2100 and calculates the consequences, at a high resolution, for Greenland's icy coasts.

“It's too early” to run the model, said Mathieu Morlighem, a researcher at the University of California and the lead author of one of the papers presenting the accumulating data. “I think you need to wait another year or two, maybe more. It was not possible at all before OMG.”

Still, the recently published findings mark a start. Morlighem's study, for instance, looked at the depth and shape of the seafloor near the fronts of and beneath numerous Greenland glaciers. The research shows that numerous glaciers extend deeper beneath the surface of the ocean than previously thought.

For instance, Store Glacier in northwestern Greenland (at around 70 degrees North latitude in the image above) starts at 400 meters (around 1,300 feet) deep where its front touches the ocean, and then plunges to depths as high as 1,000 meters deep (3,280 feet) farther inland — making it quite vulnerable to the ocean. Prior research, however, had suggested the glacier was much shallower.

The same was true of numerous other glaciers, which also appear more vulnerable than previously thought.

“OMG is transforming our knowledge of which glaciers are vulnerable to more warming or not,” Morlighem said. “So I wouldn't say we have been surprised; it's more, we had no idea, for many of these fjords, what they were looking like.”

Overall, the data are also showing that Greenland's west coast is far more vulnerable, in general, than its east, Morlighem said.

The second study, meanwhile, examines ocean circulation around the Greenland coast and finds, strikingly, that between 68 degrees North latitude along the coast and 77 degrees North (see above), the deepest warm layer of Atlantic water cools from 3.5 degrees Celsius down to 2.5 degrees Celsius. Moreover, it does so in part because the water busily melts away at a large and deep glacier called Upernavik at 73 degrees North, which touches the ocean in 675 meter (over 2,000 foot) deep waters. The cold meltwater from the glacier spills into the ocean and, through mixing, cools the warm Atlantic water somewhat.

“The glaciers there are actively losing enough ice, and enough fresh water, that it's important for the oceanography, and how the water changes as it goes up the west coast of Greenland,” says Willis. That in itself is proof that Greenland is melting quite a lot.

The big picture is that NASA's new data suggest — that's right — new vulnerabilities.

“Overall, together I think these papers suggest that the glaciers as a whole are more vulnerable than we thought they were,” Willis said. He says that, of course, with the aforementioned caveat that NASA is not ready yet to feed the data into a model that actually shows how this could play out over the decades of our future.

For now, we're still stuck with official estimates from bodies such as the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The panel said in 2013 that Greenland's melting might at most contribute 21 centimeters to sea-level rise by 2100, with some possible addition from rapid ice collapse (this is the high-end number for what scientists call the “likely” range in a worst-case global warming scenario, to be precise). But missions like OMG, in the meantime, are giving us plenty to worry about.

“These kinds of results suggest that we could be in for more sea level rise than we thought,” Willis said. “And we're not alone; the fact is that almost every time some new results come out of Greenland or Antarctica, we find these glaciers are more vulnerable than we thought.”


• Chris Mooney reports on science and the environment for The Washington Post.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/02/10/nasa-took-on-an-unprecedented-study-of-greenlands-melting-now-the-data-are-coming-in
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« Reply #608 on: February 12, 2017, 01:46:54 pm »


Meanwhile, in Birdsville, Queensland yesterday....



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« Reply #609 on: February 26, 2017, 12:10:25 am »

I used to be a believer but after reading and listening to level headed and highly credentialed scientists who've been in
the business a lot longer than the general warmist mob, I'm no longer part of the warming religion.
Then you've got the dishonest propaganda stunts like the "97% consensus"! Pfft
My take is the" consensus" among those scientists left capable of critical thinking is that
CO2 gets logarithmically weaker as a greenhouse gas as you double its concentration (currently
it is about half of 1/1000th of the atmosphere).
There is propaganda war going on with SJWs/Eco Warriors beleiving their jihad will be good for
"the planet" even if they are wrong, and energy economists and seasoned climate
scientists stating the warming is not exceptional and going full retard by
making cheap baseload energy more expensive will actually weaken civilisation
and make it harder for society (especially poor nations) to cope with the normal
ravages of climate.
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« Reply #610 on: February 26, 2017, 12:26:21 am »

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« Reply #611 on: February 26, 2017, 12:32:36 am »

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« Reply #612 on: March 10, 2017, 03:19:21 pm »


This is a classic example of a “stupid American” in a position of power listening to the unproven, bullshit god delusions inside his head instead of listening to rational peer-reviewed climate science.



from The Washington Post....

On climate change, Scott Pruitt causes an uproar
 — and contradicts the EPA's own website


On CNBC's “Squawk Box”, Scott Pruitt said he does not agree that human
activity is “a primary contributor to the global warming that we see”.


By CHRIS MOONEY and BRADY DENNIS | 3:22PM EST - Thursday, March 09, 2017

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt said on Thursday, March 9th, 2017, he does not believe that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming, a statement at odds with mainstream scientific consensus. — Photograph: Susan Walsh/Associated Press.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt said on Thursday, March 9th, 2017, he does not believe
that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming, a statement at odds with mainstream scientific consensus.
 — Photograph: Susan Walsh/Associated Press.


SCOTT PRUITT, the nation's top environmental official, strongly rejected the established science of climate change on Thursday, outraging scientists, environmentalists, and even his immediate predecessor at the Environmental Protection Agency.

“I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it's a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” Pruitt, the newly installed EPA administrator, said on the CNBC program “Squawk Box”.

“But we don't know that yet,” he continued. “We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis.”

His comments represented a startling statement for an official so high in the U.S. government, putting him at odds not only with other countries around the globe but also with the official scientific findings of the agency he now leads. President Trump in the past has called the notion of human-fueled climate change a hoax. And other cabinet members, including Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, have previously questioned the scientific basis for combating global warming.

But Pruitt's attempt to sow scientific doubt where little exists alarmed environmental advocates, scientists and former EPA officials, who fear he plans to use such views to attack Obama-era regulations aimed at reining in pollution from the burning of coal and other fossil fuels.

“The world of science is about empirical evidence, not beliefs,” Gina McCarthy, the EPA's most recent administrator, said in a statement. “When it comes to climate change, the evidence is robust and overwhelmingly clear that the cost of inaction is unacceptably high. Preventing the greatest consequences of climate change is imperative to the health and well-being of all of us who call Earth home.”

She added, “I cannot imagine what additional information the Administrator might want from scientists for him to understand that.”

Pruitt's climate change comments resulted in instant headlines on Thursday. As criticism mounted, White House press secretary Sean Spicer batted back a question about Pruitt's comments from a reporter who cited Pruitt's words and how they contradict the scientific consensus on climate change.

“That's a snippet of what Administrator Pruitt said,” said Spicer. “He went on and said I don't think we know conclusively, this is what we know. I would suggest that you touch base with the EPA on that. But he had a very lengthy response and that is just one snippet of what the Administrator said.”

But Pruitt, who was visiting the energy industry conference CERAWeek in Houston, also waded into related controversial topics during his CNBC interview. In particular, he questioned whether it was EPA's role to regulate carbon dioxide emissions — something undertaken through the agency's Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration's most significant policy to combat climate change — and challenged the Paris agreement on climate change.

“Nowhere in the equation has Congress spoken,” said Pruitt on whether his agency is obligated to regulate carbon dioxide. “The legislative branch has not addressed this issue at all. It's a very fundamental question to say, ‘Are the tools in the toolbox available to the EPA to address this issue of CO², as the court had recognized in 2007, with it being a pollutant?’”

(Pruitt was apparently referring to the 2007 Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts versus EPA, in which the court ruled that “harms associated with climate change are serious and well recognized” and that the EPA had been “arbitrary and capricious” in failing to issue a determination on whether greenhouse gases endanger the health and welfare of the public.)

The remarks appeared to fundamentally call into question whether the EPA has a role in the regulation of greenhouse gases that drive global warming, including not only carbon dioxide but methane. Last week, Pruitt's agency withdrew an agency request to oil and gas companies to report on their equipment and its methane emissions, which could have laid the groundwork for tighter regulations.

Pruitt also dismissed the international Paris climate agreement, which the Obama administration helped to lead and which was joined by nearly 200 countries in late 2015, as a “bad deal” for the United States.

“It's one thing to be talking about CO² internationally,” Pruitt said. “But when you front-load your costs, as we endeavored to do in that agreement, and then China and India back-loaded their costs for 2030 and beyond, that's not good for America. That's not an America first type of approach.”

On the science of climate change, Pruitt's statements fly in the face of an international scientific consensus, which has concluded that it is “extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.” For that matter, they also contradict the very website of the agency that Pruitt heads.

The EPA's “Climate Change” website states the following:

Recent climate changes, however, cannot be explained by natural causes alone. Research indicates that natural causes do not explain most observed warming, especially warming since the mid-20th century. Rather, it is extremely likely that human activities have been the dominant cause of that warming.

For this conclusion, the EPA cites the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the leading global scientific consensus body that assesses the state of the science roughly every five years.

Pruitt spoke with CNBC amidst growing anticipation that the Trump administration will soon move to begin a formal rollback of President Obama's Clean Power Plan, an EPA policy capping emissions from electricity generating stations, such as coal-fired power plants.

Pruitt himself sued the EPA over the Clean Power Plan in his previous role as the attorney general of Oklahoma.

And that's just one of multiple lawsuits that he filed against the EPA — others were over mercury and air pollution, the agency's attempts to regulate pollution of waterways, and methane emissions from oil and gas facilities, to name a few.

The EPA chief has made several statements in the past that are similar to the present one, perhaps, but not so strongly worded.

For instance, writing for National Review in 2016, he stated that “Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind.” In his Senate confirmation hearing, meanwhile, he stated in a tense exchange with Senator Bernie Sanders that “the climate is changing, and human activity contributes to that in some manner.”

Another of Pruitt's predecessors — now in the business community — also commented on the science of climate change in the context of his remarks.

“The time for debate on climate change has passed,” Lisa Jackson, President Obama's first EPA administrator and now vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives at Apple, told The Washington Post.

“Certainty is what business needs,” said Jackson. “And relying on science is something that we do every single day. So now if we're going to question science, I think it has an impact on more than just some federal rules, or some law, it has a huge impact on human health, the environment, and our economy.”


• Chris Mooney reports on science and the environment for The Washington Post.

• Brady Dennis is a national reporter for The Washington Post, focusing on the environment and public health issues.

__________________________________________________________________________

More on this topic:

 • VIDEO: Does the Trump administration believe in climate change?

 • VIDEO: Spicer downplays EPA chief's carbon dioxide emissions denial

 • VIDEO: Pruitt talks about the future of the EPA at CPAC

 • EPA environmental justice leader resigns, amid White House plans to dismantle program

 • White House eyes plan to cut EPA staff by one-fifth, eliminating key programs

 • Humans have caused an explosion of never-before-seen minerals all over the Earth

 • Antarctic ice has set an unexpected record, and scientists are struggling to figure out why


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/03/09/on-climate-change-scott-pruitt-contradicts-the-epas-own-website
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« Reply #613 on: March 10, 2017, 06:43:49 pm »

so he's doing a great job then
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« Reply #614 on: March 10, 2017, 09:25:10 pm »


from The Washington Post....

This climate lawsuit could change everything.
No wonder the Trump administration doesn't want it going to trial.


The children's climate law suit could spawn a whole new universe of climate litigation.
Which is why Trump wants to shut it down.


By CHELSEA HARVEY | 4:57PM EST - Thursday, March 09, 2017

The Justice Department building in Washington D.C. — Photograph: J. David Ake/Associated Press.
The Justice Department building in Washington D.C. — Photograph: J. David Ake/Associated Press.

A GROUNDBREAKING CLIMATE LAWSUIT, brought against the federal government by 21 children, has been hailed by environmentalists as a bold new strategy to press for climate action in the United States. But the Trump administration, which has pledged to undo Barack Obama's climate regulations, is doing its best to make sure the case doesn't get far.

The Trump administration this week filed a motion to overturn a ruling by a federal judge back in November that cleared the lawsuit for trial — and filed a separate motion to delay trial preparation until that appeal is considered.

The lawsuit — the first of its kind — argues the federal government has violated the constitutional right of the 21 plaintiffs to a healthy climate system.

Environmental groups say the case — if it's successful — could force even a reluctant government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and take other measures to counter warming.

“It would be huge,” said Pat Gallagher, legal director at the Sierra Club, who is not involved in the case. “It would upend climate litigation, climate law, as we know it.”

The landmark lawsuit was originally filed during the Obama administration. The 21 plaintiffs,  now between the ages of 9 and 20, claim the federal government has consistently engaged in activity that promotes fossil fuel production and greenhouse gas emissions, thereby worsening climate change. They argue this violates their constitutional right to life, liberty and property, as well the public trust doctrine, while holds that the government is responsible for the preservation of certain vital resources — in this case, a healthy climate system — for public use.

While legal experts are uncertain as to the lawsuit's likelihood of success, few have disputed its pioneering nature. Similar cases have been brought on the state level, but this is the first against the federal government in the United States. And in November, the case cleared a major early hurdle when U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken denied motions filed by the Obama administration, as well as the fossil fuel industry, to have the lawsuit dismissed, ordering that it should proceed to trial.

The move allowed the case to join the ranks of climate lawsuits filed in other nations, which could upend the way environmental advocacy is conducted around the world. Just last year, a court in the Netherlands ordered the Dutch government to cut carbon emissions by a quarter within five years. Similar climate-related suits have been brought and won in Austria, Pakistan and South Africa.

Shortly after President Trump's inauguration, the plaintiffs submitted a request that the Department of Justice preserve all documents that could be relevant to the lawsuit, including information on climate change, energy and emissions, and cease any destruction of such documents that may otherwise occur during the presidential transition. The request came just days after reports began to surface of climate information disappearing from White House and certain federal agency websites.

“We are concerned with the new administration's immediate maneuver to remove important climate change information from the public domain and, based on recent media reports, we are concerned about how deep the scrubbing effort will go,” Julia Olson, chief legal counsel for the plaintiffs and executive director of the advocacy group Our Children's Trust, said in a statement at the time. “Destroying evidence is illegal and we just put these new U.S. Defendants and the Industry Defendants on notice that they are barred from doing so.”

The Trump administration is combating this request in its motion to stay litigation, along with its motion to appeal. The administration charges that the United States could be “irreparably harmed” if the case's proceedings are not halted pending consideration of its appeal, claiming that “the extraordinary scope of this litigation and the concomitant scope of discovery that Plaintiffs appear to be seeking set this case apart.”

“One of the things that the government argues is that the preservation of documents itself represents a burden on the government,” said Michael Burger, executive director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School. “What they're arguing is that they'll be irreparably injured by having to go through discovery here.”

This, he added, “sends kind of the wrong signal, or at least a very dangerous signal, in terms of what the government's priorities are or what it’s thinking of doing. It shouldn't be any kind of burden for the government to preserve documents that are already in existence.”

But given the broad implications of the case for U.S. climate action, especially if the plaintiffs prevail, “it's not surprising that the Trump administration would want to quash it,” said Gallagher, the Sierra Club legal director.

If the case were successful, the federal government would be obligated to take meaningful action against climate change, probably through a planned reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. This type of order would run counter to the current administration's priorities. On Thursday, Scott Pruitt, the EPA chief, rejected the underlying science of climate change, and the administration has indicated its intent to cancel a number of Obama-era climate and environmental regulations, including the Clean Power Plan, and withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

Whether either of the federal government's most recent motions will hold up remains to be decided. According to Burger, this largely depends on Aiken, the federal judge who ordered that the case proceed to trial, who essentially must sign off in order for the appeal to take place.

“In order to do that, the judge needs to basically agree that there are issues of law that could be determinative that the case would be better served if the Ninth Circuit [Court of Appeals] heard it now,” Burger said. Appeals most typically occur after a final opinion on a case has been reached through trial, he noted, pointing out that although it's “common enough for parties to seek interlocutory appeal, it's the exception rather than the rule that it be granted.”

A stay of the proceedings, pending appeal, is also subject to Aiken's decision. This means there are multiple combinations of outcomes that could occur for the case's proceedings.

“It's conceivable that Judge Aiken could certify her order on the motion to dismiss for interlocutory appeal and not grant a stay on the proceedings,” Burger noted. In this situation, the case would be heard in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which would essentially decide whether it should proceed on the basis of the claims the plaintiffs have already set forth, while at the same time continuing through discovery at the district court level, he said.

Regardless of the final outcome, legal experts have highlighted the lawsuit's importance as a novel approach to the climate issue in the United States.  “It could spawn a whole new universe of litigation at both the state and the federal levels,” Gallagher said.


• Chelsea Harvey is a freelance journalist covering science for The Washington Post. She specializes in environmental health and policy.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/03/09/this-climate-lawsuit-could-change-everything-no-wonder-the-trump-administration-doesnt-want-it-going-to-trial
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« Reply #615 on: March 11, 2017, 03:47:05 pm »


from The Washington Post....

EDITORIAL: Scott Pruitt demonstrates what climate denial sounds like

The EPA chief flouts the responsibilities of his job.

By EDITORIAL BOARD | 7:12PM EST - Thursday, March 09, 2017

Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, on Capitol Hill. — Photograph: Zach Gibson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, on Capitol Hill.
 — Photograph: Zach Gibson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


“I DON'T want to be called a denier,” CNBC anchor Joe Kernen said to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on Thursday morning. “I know you don't want to be called that, either.”

But what else can one call Mr. Pruitt, after he said this to Mr. Kernan: “I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it's a primary contributor to the global warming that we see. But we don't know that yet…. We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis.”

That is not “skepticism”, a term that implies reasonable doubt in the face of inadequate information. That is denial of a scientific consensus built on ample evidence that gets stronger every year, and it is denial of Mr. Pruitt's essential responsibilities as the nation's chief environmental watchdog.

If Mr. Pruitt had merely said that it is hard to establish humanity's effects on the climate with precision, no one could accuse him of being wrong. Scientists cannot say exactly how much warming will occur after a given amount of carbon dioxide is pumped into the atmosphere — and probably will not be able to until after the warming has occurred. But that is not evidence of no or small effect. Scientists have calculated a range of possible values for the planet's “sensitivity” to carbon dioxide released by human activity — and it is not a comfortable one. The numbers suggest that, even if experts are far too pessimistic in their estimates, the risks of continuing to rapidly change the atmosphere's chemistry are worryingly high and demand that every country on Earth act before doing so becomes much more expensive or impossible.

Yet Mr. Pruitt did not stick to mere misdirection about climate sensitivity. He argued, wrongly, that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that carbon dioxide is even “a primary contributor” to the climate change scientists have already measured — even though they have painstakingly ruled out alternative culprits.

In fact, the notion that greenhouse-gas emissions play a leading role in global warming is not questionable. There is still plenty of room for more research about the future manner and severity of the impact but not for denial that there is a significant impact that humans should attempt to limit.

Accepting the expert consensus is a matter of reason versus unreason. On the side of reason are scientists armed with decades of data and the insights of basic physics, which counsel that adding heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere will trap more heat. Human fingerprints are increasingly visible in the data. Here, per CNBC's own account of the Pruitt interview, is the joint conclusion of NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: “The planet's average surface temperature has risen about 2.0 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere.”

It is little wonder the Trump administration is reportedly preparing to sharply cut NOAA's budget. Ignoring  data may seem easier if you collect less of it.


__________________________________________________________________________

Read more on this topic:

 • Letters to the Editor: What cuts to NOAA mean

 • Letters to the Editor: Pruitt will enable irreversible pollution of our atmosphere

 • The Washington Post's View: Pruitt and Perry continue to play down climate change

 • Christine Todd Whitman: I was EPA administrator. Advice for the next one: Don't walk back environmental progress.

 • The Washington Post's View: A man who rejects settled science on climate change should not lead the EPA


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/scott-pruitt-demonstrates-what-climate-denial-sounds-like/2017/03/09/66dc1508-04f8-11e7-b9fa-ed727b644a0b_story.html
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« Reply #616 on: May 26, 2017, 06:31:11 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

Encore cartoon: NASA climate science set adrift

By DAVID HORSEY | 5:00AM PDT - Wednesday, May 24, 2017



I'M ON a brief vacation in America's wide-open spaces, so I offer this updated version of a drawing done a few years ago when NASA's space shuttle program ended. At the time, the American space agency had no way to get to the International Space Station without hitching a ride with the Russians.

Now, NASA's work could be made more difficult by a very different problem: The Trump administration's proposed NASA budget eliminates money for gathering data about climate change, apparently because the president would rather not learn any inconvenient facts that get in the way of boosting the fossil fuels industry.

My lonely cartoon astronaut looks even more lonely today.


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-nasa-science-20170518-story.html
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« Reply #617 on: May 26, 2017, 06:31:40 pm »


Can you get your head around this?   



from The Washington Post....

So much water pulsed through a melting glacier that it warped the Earth's crust

In melting Greenland, scientists detect a pulse of water and ice the size of 18,000 Empire State Buildings.

By CHRIS MOONEY | 12:02PM EDT - Thursday, May 25, 2017

Rink Glacier on Greenland's west coast. — Photograph: John Sonntag/NASA.
Rink Glacier on Greenland's west coast. — Photograph: John Sonntag/NASA.

NASA SCIENTISTS detected a pulse of melting  ice and water traveling through a major glacier in Greenland that was so big that it warped the solid Earth — a surge equivalent in mass to 18,000 Empire State Buildings.

The pulse — which occurred during the 2012 record melt year — traveled nearly 15 miles through the Rink Glacier in western Greenland over four months before reaching the sea, the researchers said.

“It's a gigantic mass,” said Eric Larour, one of the study's authors and a researcher at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “It is able to bend the bedrock around it.”

Such a “wave” has never before been detected in a Greenland or Antarctic glacier. The total amount of mass carried in the wave — in the form of either water, ice or some combination of both — was 1.67 billion tons per month, or 6.68 billion tons over four months, according to the study, which was published in Geophysical Research Letters.

The study was led by the lab's Surendra Adhikari and co-authored by Erik Ivins.

“These solitary waves, they're fairly well known in rivers,” said Ivins, also a researcher at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “Rivers can have inundations upstream where a lot of water is collected, and the water gets bunched up as it's going downstream and doesn't ever really flatten out. It just remains as this wave and continues down a river.”

However, the scientists don't know what the wave actually looked like or precisely what caused it — much of it was occurring below the surface of the glacier. They also don't know precisely what it was made of. “We are losing a combination of water and ice. We don't know what fraction,” said Adhikari.

The researchers were able to detect the wave only because a GPS sensor, located in a rocky inland area a little over 12 miles, moved 15 millimeters as the wave went by, pushing down on the Earth's crust and causing a deep indentation.

“The GPS can sense that,” Larour explained.

Richard Alley, a glaciologist at Penn State University who was not involved in the study, explained it this way:

“Find a bed,” Alley said by email. “Put a little piece of tape on the sheet.  Put your fist right next to the tape and push down, while watching the tape.  The tape will move down as you push down, and also will move horizontally toward your fist just a little. Put your fist farther away, and the tape won't move as much.  Push harder, and it will move more. While pushing down, slide your fist past the tape, and you'll see a pattern of vertical and horizontal motions of the tape.”

“A bed isn't exactly the elastic Earth, but that's sort of what this team did,” Alley continued. “They saw a ‘fist’ of mass sliding down the glacier past their GPS station, caused by extra meltwater.”

Adhikari provided this animation showing the direction of the GPS device's movement (and therefore that of the bedrock or solid Earth) as the bulk of mass went by:


An animation showing horizontal bedrock motion in response to a nearby glacier mass change in the form of a wave. Ice mass change is portrayed by ice thinning/thickening (delta H), the centroid or fulcrum of mass anomaly is denoted by the star, and the direction of bedrock motion is represented by the arrow as measured at a GPS station (circle). As the glacier gains (loses) mass, the bedrock moves toward (away from) it. — Graphic: Caltech/NASA-Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
An animation showing horizontal bedrock motion in response to a nearby glacier mass change in the form of a wave. Ice mass change is portrayed by ice thinning/thickening
(delta H), the centroid or fulcrum of mass anomaly is denoted by the star, and the direction of bedrock motion is represented by the arrow as measured at a GPS station (circle).
As the glacier gains (loses) mass, the bedrock moves toward (away from) it. — Graphic: Caltech/NASA-Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


The wave occurred in the wake of a 2012 summer melting event that saw most of the surface of Greenland become covered with liquid water, and that still has not been surpassed by subsequent warm years.  The researchers suspect that some of that meltwater flooded beneath the ice sheet and then pulsed outward through Rink Glacier.

“It's really related to the deep interior of Greenland that's full of melt, and it’s trying to get rid of that melt through gravitational processes,” said Ivins.

The study also documented another, smaller “wave” at Rink Glacier in 2010, another major melt year.

Rink is far from the largest glacier in Greenland. It is about 3.4 miles wide at its front where it touches the ocean and a little over half a mile deep in the same location. Researchers have also shown that pulses of meltwater flow out from beneath the glacier in colorful silt-filled plumes, presumably through subterranean channels, which could be how some of this mass exited to the ocean in 2012.

The scale of the pulse, 6.68 billion tons, or gigatons, is still only a fraction of what Greenland contributes to the ocean every year in the form of water and ice. NASA has estimated that Greenland loses 287 billion tons annually at present (though it lost far more than that in the banner melt year of 2012).

Still, the research gives a sense of the tremendous magnitude of the changes occurring on Greenland, which is covered by enough ice to raise sea levels by over 20 feet if it were all to slide into the ocean.

And it pairs with other studies showing that the breaking off of large pieces from Greenland glaciers causes major earthquakes and that enormous lakes atop the Greenland ice sheet can vanish within hours into its depths.

The study also raises questions about whether more huge ice and water pulses will be seen as the Arctic continues to warm and Greenland to melt — and thus whether this is how a melting ice sheet exports its mass to the ocean.

But mostly, it's just staggering to contemplate.

If the analogy of 18,000 Empire State Buildings isn’t striking enough, the researchers offered another: The mass loss through Rink Glacier from the wave, they say, was equivalent to “150 million fully loaded 18-wheelers.”


• Chris Mooney reports on science and the environment for The Washington Post.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/05/25/so-much-water-pulsed-through-a-melting-glacier-that-it-warped-the-earths-crust
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« Reply #618 on: June 05, 2017, 06:58:10 pm »

Yes, and some people are stupid enough to believe the hoax
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« Reply #619 on: July 04, 2017, 12:06:53 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

Climate change, our biggest threat, can't be stopped at the border

By DAVID HORSEY | 5:00AM PDT - Wednesday, June 28, 2017



AT Squaw Valley near Lake Tahoe last weekend, skiers were half naked. Guys were going shirtless. Girls were in bikini tops. Everybody was in shorts. Ski season in California has not ended and may not completely stop before the snow starts falling again in late autumn.

Skiing with skin bared is not unprecedented. Years ago at Heavenly Valley, I got the worst sunburn of my life when I shed my shirt for a day on the slopes. But that was a day in March, not a day at the end of June.

For the last several years, the snowpack in the Sierras was far below normal, severely stressing the water supply of a state locked in a five-year drought. But that drought ended abruptly this year as the precipitation poured down. The mountain snow got so deep that some ski areas experienced temporary shutdowns when chairlifts could not clear the top of the accumulated snow.

Yet, even as the snowpack sticks around, warm temperatures have kicked in — really warm temperatures. On Sunday it was 111 degrees in some parts of the Los Angeles basin. That was not entirely remarkable because temperatures above 100 were registered all along the Pacific coast, from Washington and Oregon through California and Nevada and into Arizona. Anyone heading to Las Vegas this week will be scorched by 106-degree days.

Is this just weather, the endless series of transient atmospheric phenomena that give us something to talk about when we strike up a conversation with a new neighbor? Or are droughts and huge snowpacks and really high temperatures signs of climate change?

That is not easy to sort out. A lot of us confuse weather and climate, like Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe who brought a snowball to the floor of the Senate in February 2015 as a prop to somehow demonstrate that climate change is a hoax. He seemed to think a major snowstorm in Washington in February was proof the planet is not warming.

That one snowstorm did not prove anything. Weather happens. Rain and snow come and go. Hot days come in the summer. Cold days come in winter. Always has been, always will be.

Climate, though, is something else. Climate is a sustained pattern, something that can be reckoned to stay within certain norms over many years — until it doesn't. When the patterns shift in significant ways, that is climate change.

Most of the world's scientists say that is happening now. Weather worldwide is getting more extreme, glaciers are melting, the polar ice caps are receding, growing seasons are shifting, sea levels are rising and annual temperatures are consistently hitting higher records. In some places, those record temperatures are causing real alarm.

One month ago, the citizens of Turbat, Pakistan, suffered through a day that hit 128 degrees. That is very close to the scientifically-confirmed, highest global temperature ever recorded (in Death Valley, of course).

Pakistani officials are certain their country is enduring the new extremes of global warming. In the United States, the current leadership is not so convinced. Even though the Department of Defense lists global chaos caused by climate change as a daunting security challenge in the years to come, our president (who pays little attention to what experts in his government have to say) seems not to give a hoot. His big idea for protecting national security is a travel ban on Muslims that does little to enhance procedures that already exist for catching terrorists who may try to slip into the country. His big idea on climate change is to abandon the Paris accords that set greenhouse gas reduction goals for nearly every country on the planet.

Statistically, the odds that any American will die in a terrorist attack is one in millions. The chance that any American will be affected by climate change, however, is already 100%. But terrorists are more viscerally scary, in a swarthy-skinned movie-villain sort of way. For politicians, it is easy to drum up fears about fanatic creeps who behead innocent people and scream religious slogans before they blow themselves up in public squares.

It is much tougher to raise alarm about climate change, an existential threat that is still hard to fully comprehend. And it does not help that the best remedies for the problem are opposed by the fossil fuels industry that funds the campaigns of the politicians who choose to believe there is no climate problem at all.


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-bikini-ski-20170628-story.html
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« Reply #620 on: July 04, 2017, 12:07:10 pm »


from The Washington Post....

EPA chief pushing governmentwide effort to question climate change science

Critics call the red-team versus blue-team idea “childish” and “incredibly insulting”.

By BRADY DENNIS and JULIET EILPERIN | 4:49PM EDT - Saturday, July 01, 2017

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is a driving force behind an effort to re-evaluate climate science in numerous federal agencies. — Photograph: Associated Press/Susan Walsh.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is a driving force behind an effort to re-evaluate climate science
in numerous federal agencies. — Photograph: Associated Press/Susan Walsh.


THE Trump administration is debating whether to launch a governmentwide effort to question the science of climate change, an effort that critics say is an attempt to undermine the long-established consensus human activity is fueling the Earth's rising temperatures.

The move, driven by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, has sparked a debate among top Trump administration officials over whether to pursue such a strategy.

A senior White House official, who asked for anonymity because no final decision has been made, said that while Pruitt has expressed interest in the idea, “there are no formal plans within the administration to do anything about it at this time.”

Pruitt first publicly raised the idea of setting up a “red team versus blue team” effort to conduct exercises to test the idea that human activity is the main driver of recent climate change in an interview with Breitbart in early June.

“What the American people deserve, I think, is a true, legitimate, peer-reviewed, objective, transparent discussion about CO²,” Pruitt said in an interview with Breitbart's Joel Pollack.

But officials are discussing whether the initiative would stretch across numerous federal agencies that rely on such science, according to multiple Trump administration officials, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because no formal announcement has been made.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who once described the science behind human-caused climate change as a “contrived phony mess,” also is involved in the effort, two officials said.

At a White House briefing this week, Perry said, “The people who say the science is settled, it's done — if you don't believe that you're a skeptic, a Luddite. I don't buy that. I don't think there is — I mean, this is America. Have a conversation. Let's come out of the shadows of hiding behind your political statements and let's talk about it. What's wrong with that? And I'm full well — I can be convinced, but let's talk about it.”

The idea, according to one senior administration official, is “to get other federal agencies involved in this exercise on the state of climate science” to examine “what we know, where there are holes, and what we actually don't know.”

Other agencies could include the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy and NASA, according to the official, all of which conduct climate research in some capacity.

EPA officials on Friday declined to comment, and DOE could not immediately be reached for comment.

A plethora of scientific assessments over the years have concluded that human activity — such as the burning of fossil fuels — is driving climate change, and it poses grave risks to the environment and to human health. In its most recent report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that it is “extremely likely” that, since the 1950s, humans and their greenhouse gas emissions have been the “dominant cause” of the planet's warming trend.

But that conclusion, shared by the vast majority of experts in the United States and around the world, has done little to stop Pruitt, Perry and other administration officials from raising doubts.

The idea of a “red-team blue-team” exercise stems in part from a Wall Street Journal commentary by New York University professor Steven Koonin. E&E News on Friday reported that Pruitt intended to formalize the “red team, blue team” effort to challenge mainstream climate science. But should Perry and other agency leaders join the effort, the move would embed the Trump administration's approach to climate science across the government in a very public way.

Kelly Levin, a senior associate with the World Resources Institute's major emerging economies objective, wrote in a blog post last month that the kind of adversarial process Pruitt is advocating is better suited for policy debates than for scientific findings. Scientific arguments, she wrote, are mediated through a peer-review process in which experts in the same field evaluate one another's work.

“Scientific understanding, unlike proposals for what to do about a given problem, is well established through the scientific method,” wrote Levin, noting that 97 percent of peer-reviewed papers on climate change support the idea that humans play a contributing factor. “If skeptics want their voices heard in scientific discourse, they should try to get their findings published in the peer-reviewed literature. They would then be assessed on their merits through peer review.”

Some members of EPA's scientific rank-and-file, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, questioned Pruitt's plan.

“It's an obvious attempt to cast doubt on climate science under the guise of a common sense-sounding process,” said one EPA employee who focuses on climate issues. “But of course, we already have a process for scrutiny of the science — the peer review process is a much more robust assessment of scientific integrity than a childish color war.”

The employee called the effort “incredibly insulting” and said the red team versus blue team idea “is a weaker process than we already have in place for peer review and scientific assessment.”

The efforts to question the existing science on climate change has raised questions within the government and among industry officials about whether Pruitt intends to try to roll back the EPA's 2009 “endangerment finding,” which determined that greenhouse gases posed a risk to public health and created the basis for Obama-era regulations on emissions from power plants, automobiles and other sources.

Two people with knowledge of the “red-team blue-team” undertaking — one inside the Trump administration and one lobbyist — said its purpose was not explicitly to help target the agency's 2009 finding that emissions of greenhouse gases linked to climate change constitute as pollutants under the Clean Air Act, though that idea is still under discussion among administration officials.

President Trump questioned the link between human activity multiple times during the 2016 campaign, though he has not addressed the issue directly since his inauguration. In his most recent remarks, in an interview with “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace in December, Trump said that “nobody really knows” if climate change is real.

After the president announced a month ago that the U.S. would be withdrawing from the 2015 Paris climate agreement, multiple reporters have asked White House officials to clarify the president's views on climate science. But they have declined to do so.

Pruitt's EPA also took down an agency website in late April that was focused on climate change and highlighted the scientific consensus that it is caused by humans.


Steven Mufson contributed to this report.

• Brady Dennis is a national reporter for The Washington Post, focusing on the environment and public health issues.

• Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post's senior national affairs correspondent, covering how the new administration is transforming a range of U.S. policies and the federal government itself. She is the author of two books—one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other—and has worked for The Post since 1998.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related story:

 • How Scott Pruitt moved to the center of power in the Trump administration


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/07/01/epa-chief-pushing-governmentwide-effort-to-question-climate-change-science
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« Reply #621 on: July 04, 2017, 12:07:31 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

EPA's Scott Pruitt is Trump's most adept and dangerous hatchet man

By DAVID HORSEY | 9:10PM PDT - Sunday, July 02, 2017



DONALD TRUMP is a crude buffoon who spends his days picking Twitter fights with people he sees on TV. He displays no skill, sophistication or capacity for subtle nuance in foreign or domestic policy. But Trump's personal ineffectualness has not kept his administration from rapidly reversing the direction of the federal government in key areas, thanks to a few deft players who are implementing an aggressive ideological agenda.

Perhaps the most disturbingly effective person on the Trump team is Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. In the few months since Trump's inauguration, Pruitt, has transformed the EPA into a supine lap dog for the oil, gas and coal industries and is well on his way to erasing years of environmental policy built on scientific research.

As Oklahoma attorney general, Pruitt sued the EPA to block regulations that business interests found annoying. Industry lobbyists frequently provided him with draft letters that Pruitt signed and sent off to federal regulators as if they were his own words. And his coziness with the people the EPA is supposed to regulate has not changed since he took over as the nation's chief environmental officer.

A Freedom of Information Act request filed by The New York Times revealed that the calendar of the EPA boss lists one meeting after another with executives and lobbyists from agribusiness, the chemical industry and, of course, oil companies. He regularly attends dinners and conferences hosted by industry organizations, such as the American Petroleum Institute and the American Farm Bureau Federation. Just days before the EPA reversed a ban on a dangerous pesticide that is known to have ill effects on children, Pruitt huddled with the chief executive of Dow Chemical, the manufacturer of the pesticide. It is not difficult to imagine what they talked about.

Ignoring scientists and specialists within his own agency, Pruitt seeks counsel outside the EPA from lobbyists, lawyers and longtime allies who share his pro-industry attitude. The result has been dramatic. Pruitt has loosened, delayed or sought to repeal a wide range of environmental rules covering concerns that include spills and explosions at chemical plants, methane leaks from oil and gas drilling sites and pollution of waterways.

Pruitt has become Trump's lead man in attacking climate science and dismantling American compliance with the Paris accord on climate change. A specific target is President Obama's Clean Power Plan that sought to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

According to a new report in The Washington Post, Pruitt may soon be instituting a competitive debate within the EPA about whether human activity contributes to climate change, a debate that could be expanded to other agencies, such as the Department of Energy and NASA. While this may seem like a reasonable idea — what does it hurt to talk things over? — the reality is that it is a stalling tactic. The overwhelming scientific consensus is that the pace of climate change is being increased by human exploitation of fossil fuels. An open-ended internal debate pitting real scientists against shills for industry has only one purpose: prevent government agencies from doing anything about the biggest environmental danger threatening our country and the world.

Pruitt is cleverly undermining the role of science in his agency in other little noticed ways. In May and June, he dismissed 47 members of the EPA's Board of Scientific Counselors, a group of respected scientific experts who advise the agency. Now, only 11 members are left, and all meetings for the summer and fall have been canceled. If the board is reconstituted, the expectation is that it will be stacked with industry-friendly replacements.

Pruitt has said that he wants to shift the EPA's focus to “tangible pollution”. One would assume, then, that a successful, ongoing project like the cleanup of Chesapeake Bay would have his support. Instead, funding for the EPA's Chesapeake program that is protecting one of America's most abundant fisheries is being zeroed out in the Trump administration's budget plan. Similar projects around the country are also facing drastic budget reductions. At this rate, there will be plenty of tangible pollution for the EPA to deal with in the years to come.

If friends of the environment think the way to stop this assault on the nation's land, water and air is to somehow drive Trump from office, they may want to think again. Pruitt is not Trump's man; he is his party's man. As long as so many Republicans continue to betray the legacy of that great Republican president, Theodore Roosevelt, and even the legacy of the lesser Republican president who created the EPA, Richard Nixon, nothing will be different.


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-hatchet-pruitt-20170702-story.html
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« Reply #622 on: July 04, 2017, 12:08:36 pm »


Yep, those SEPOs (Septic Tank Yanks, full-of-shit) are clowns & buffoons alright.

The world's laughing stock!!   
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« Reply #623 on: July 04, 2017, 01:33:07 pm »

Sorry, don't have the time to read any of your your lefty posts , but feel free to summarise them for me.....
And yes...I agree...Trump is doing a great job of repairing all the mistakes made by Obumar😛
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #624 on: July 04, 2017, 02:28:01 pm »

Sorry, don't have the time to read any of your your lefty posts , but feel free to summarise them for me.....
And yes...I agree...Trump is doing a great job of repairing all the mistakes made by Obumar😛


Mate....I'd have more chance of getting dog-shit to understand a summary than getting it into your fucked-up brain, which is considerably dumber than dog-shit!!
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