Tag: Climate Crocks

Vested interests, perhaps.

I’m being very brave and stepping into the climate change cauldron!

Learning from Dogs has been posting a wide range of items for well over five years. Indeed, today’s post is number 2,238!

Over those five years, my position regarding climate change or global warming has been pretty clear: a belief in the proposition that man’s behaviours are changing the very climate of our planet.  For instance, a little over a year ago I posted under the title Sceptical about global warming?  It opened:

Learning from Dogs is not a blogsite about climate change!

Why, you may ask, do I start today’s post with that sub-heading?  Because, I am conscious that many of my posts do touch on this subject.  For example, just two days ago there was Breaking news.  Then there was the piece about the climate implications for Phoenix, Arizona.  Followed the next day by the changes in the flow of the jet stream across the North Atlantic with all the weather implications for North-West Europe.

Indeed, as the heading to today’s post makes clear, this is also about the changes going on to our planet.

Learning from Dogs is about a different way of living and behaving.  A campaign, if one wants to call it that, to show that the way that modern man is living is corrupt.  Not with a big ‘C’ but still in the sense of living a dishonest life.  Learning from Dogs attempts to show that our wonderful dogs, a source of so much love and pleasure for so many millions, offer us an example of a life in and of this planet.

If there was ever a time in the history of man when we needed being reminded of our frailty and vulnerability, it is now.  As the following so starkly illustrates.

Peter Sinclair of Climate Crocks recently republished an item from Skeptical Science that opened up as follows:

A new study of ocean warming has just been published in Geophysical Research Letters by Balmaseda, Trenberth, and Källén (2013).  There are several important conclusions which can be drawn from this paper.

  • Completely contrary to the popular contrarian myth, global warming has accelerated, with more overall global warming in the past 15 years than the prior 15 years.  This is because about 90% of overall global warming goes into heating the oceans, and the oceans have been warming dramatically.

Then last week-end, Dan Gomez, friend for over 40 years, sent me the following:

Weather Channel Founder: Global Warming Science ‘Not Valid’

Meteorologist John Coleman, who co-founded The Weather Channel, says the claim that human activity is leading to global warming is no longer scientifically credible.

Instead, the “little evidence” there is for rising global temperatures points to a “natural phenomenon,” Coleman asserts.

In an open letter to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), he wrote: “There is no climate crisis. The ocean is not rising significantly. The polar ice is increasing, not melting away. Polar bears are increasing in number.

“Heat waves have actually diminished, not increased. There is not an uptick in the number or strength of storms.

“I have studied this topic seriously for years. It has become a political and environmental agenda item, but the science is not valid.”

Coleman says he based his views on the findings of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (not to be confused with the U.N. panel), a body of scientists and scholars who assess the science of global warming.

“There is no significant man-made global warming at this time. There has been none in the past and there is no reason to fear any in the future,” says Coleman, who was the original meteorologist on “Good Morning America.”

“Efforts to prove the theory that carbon dioxide is a significant greenhouse gas and pollutant causing significant warming or weather effects have failed.

“There has been no warming over 18 years.”

The U.N.’s IPCC argues that their research shows man-made global warming will lead to extreme weather events becoming more frequent and unpredictable, the Express in Britain reported.

Climate expert William Happer, a professor at Princeton University, expressed support for Coleman’s claims.

“No chemical compound in the atmosphere has a worse reputation than CO2, thanks to the single-minded demonization of this natural and essential atmospheric gas by advocates of government control [of] energy production,” Happer said.

“The incredible list of supposed horrors that increasing carbon dioxide will bring the world is pure belief disguised as science.”

What Dan had seen was an article in the UK Daily Mail that, in turn, was echoed on the US WesternJournalism blogsite.  Here’s how that Daily Mail story opens:

Climate change has been proven to be a lie, according to a leading meteorologist.

John Coleman, who co-founded the Weather Channel, claims that the belief humans are causing climate change is not backed up by science.

In an open letter attacking the UN, the 80-year-old from San Diego, said that what ‘little evidence’ there is for global warming points to natural cycles in temperature.

‘There is no climate crisis,’ he wrote. ‘The ocean is not rising significantly. The polar ice is increasing, not melting away. Polar bears are increasing in number. ‘Heat waves have actually diminished, not increased. There is not an uptick in the number or strength of storms.

‘I have studied this topic seriously for years. It has become a political and environment agenda item, but the science is not valid.’

The WesternJournalism post runs with the story explaining (in part):

John Coleman, the original meteorologist for ABC’s Good Morning America and the founder of The Weather Channel, which launched in 1982, wrote an open letter to the UCLA’s Hammer Forum urging them “to re-examine their plan” for their forum, scheduled for this past Thursday, after they announced their experts, both of whom believe in climate change science.

Coleman has made his position against climate change science clear in the past.

“There is no significant man-made global warming at this time, there has been none in the past and there is no reason to fear any in the future. Efforts to prove the theory that carbon dioxide is a significant ‘greenhouse’ gas and pollutant causing significant warming or weather effects have failed. There has been no warming over 18 years.”

The Weather Channel founder cites professors from Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard Smithsonian Observatory, and the University of Alabama, along with “9,000 Ph.D scientists” who agree with him.

“Yet at your October 23 Hammer Forum on Climate Change you have scheduled as your only speakers two people who continue to present failed science as though it is the final and complete story on global warming/climate change. This is a major mistake.”

Coleman urged the UCLA group to reconsider, noting he is not a “flat Earther,” or a “paid shill of the Koch Brothers.”

In a discussion yesterday with Dan, he was of the clear mind that, yes, the climate is changing, as it always has over eons of time, but that the degree of change that is directly attributed to man’s affairs is minute.  Then all around me I see sign after sign, read article after article, that we, as in mankind, are relentlessly ‘fouling our own nest’ and the time left for us to learn how to live sustainably on this planet is fast running out.

Can we get to the truth? The topic will be continued tomorrow!

To see is to understand.

Something each and every one of us has to absorb – but without going in to space!

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.

So said Albert Einstein.  As with so many wise men from all times, what gets uttered strikes as such obvious common-sense.  But it took a wise person to utter it!

We need a change of consciousness.  About the world we live on.  This single, fragile, vulnerable rock in space that was featured in last Sunday’s post, Just a small white dot, and in yesterday’s post about Carl Sagan.

Climate Crocks, a ‘must follow’ blogsite for those that are concerned about the state of our planet, recently published a post that revealed how astronauts upon viewing the Planet Earth from Space had a profound Consciousness Change.  Take this example;

“I  think you start out with this idea of what it’s going to be like…and then when you do finally look at the Earth for the first time…you’re overwhelmed by how much more beautiful it really is, when you see it for real.

It’s just like it’s this dynamic, alive place, ..that you see glowing all the time..”

-Nicole Stott, Shuttle, ISS Astronaut

Or this from Ron Garan;

“When we look down on the Earth from space, we see this amazing, indescribably beautiful planet, ..it looks like a living, breathing organism..”

– Ron Garan, Suttle, ISS Astronaut

Wonderfully, that Climate Crocks piece quickly led to a new organisation called Planetary Collective.

Planetary Collective is a group of filmmakers, visual media creatives and thinkers who work with cosmologists, ecologists, and philosophers to explore some of the big questions facing our planet at this time.

Embracing a multidisciplinary, multi-media approach, we brings scientists, philosophers, and researchers together with designers, coders, and creatives to bring new perspectives to audiences around the world in fresh and innovative ways.

It was this group that last December released the short, but incredibly powerful film, Overview.  Here it is:

Released 7th December 2012

At the end of 2011, we filmed a short documentary called OVERVIEW about astronauts’ experiences in space, due for release in the last quarter of 2012. The film is both a stand-alone short film and a prelude to CONTINUUM, introducing many of the key ideas expanded upon in the feature documentary.

SYNOPSIS

Astronauts who have seen the Earth from space have often described the ‘overview effect’ as an experience that has transformed their perspective of the planet and mankind’s place upon it, and enabled them to perceive it as our shared home, without boundaries between nations or species.

OVERVIEW is a short film that will explore this perspective through interviews with astronauts who have experienced the overview effect. The film also features insights from commentators and thinkers on the wider implications and importance of this understanding for humanity as a whole, and especially its relevance to how we meet the tremendous challenges facing our planet at this time.

That film release date of the 7th December, 2012 was the 40th anniversary of the most famous photograph of Planet Earth taken on the 7th December, 1972: The Blue Marble.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17.
The Earth seen from Apollo 17.

Original caption: “View of the Earth as seen by the Apollo 17 crew traveling toward the moon. This translunar coast photograph extends from the Mediterranean Sea area to the Antarctica south polar ice cap.

This is the first time the Apollo trajectory made it possible to photograph the south polar ice cap. Note the heavy cloud cover in the Southern Hemisphere. Almost the entire coastline of Africa is clearly visible. The Arabian Peninsula can be seen at the northeastern edge of Africa. The large island off the coast of Africa is Madagascar. The Asian mainland is on the horizon toward the northeast.”

From WikiPedia,

The Blue Marble is a famous photograph of the Earth, taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft, at a distance of about 45,000 kilometres (28,000 mi).

The snapshot — taken by astronauts on December 7, 1972, at 5:39 a.m. EST (10:39 UTC) — is one of the most widely distributed photographic images in existence.

The image is one of the few to show a fully illuminated Earth, as the astronauts had the Sun behind them when they took the image. To the astronauts, Earth had the appearance and size of a glass marble, hence the name.

Back to that Overview film.  Slightly confusing is the fact that the Planetary Collective website, where that Overview film is highlighted, is a different one to the associated Overview Institute website, from where one can read this Declaration:

A Critical Time

We live at a critical moment in human history. The challenges of climate change, food, water and energy shortages as well as the increasing disparity between the developed and developing nations are testing our will to unite, while differences in religions, cultures, and politics continue to keep us apart.

The creation of a “global village” through satellite TV and the Internet is still struggling to connect the world into one community. At this critical moment, our greatest need is for a global vision of planetary unity and purpose for humanity as a whole.

And to my mind the greatest need, the ONLY need, for that global vision is to move rapidly beyond our industrial and materialistic way of life to one where we live in harmony with our planet.

To pick up on what Ron Garan was quoted as saying, Planet Earth is a living, breathing organism.  If the species man and thousands of other non-human species are to stand a chance of remaining on this living, breathing organism then You, Me and every other person out there, has to have a change of consciousness about the one and only place we live on.

So don’t flick over from those last words to the next thing in your life.  Go back and look at the picture of our home, taken from Apollo 17.  Make sure that you ask as many as you can to watch the Overview film above.

Finally, you be a person who makes a change in your consciousness.  The rest is easy.

Back to dear old Albert E.

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.

The power of consequences

That unwritten law of the power of unintended consequences strikes again.

Before moving on to today’s post, just wanted to say that our recent move to Merlin, Oregon continues to take up huge (and enjoyable) demands on our time so the opportunity to write lengthy posts on Learning from Dogs is still some way off.  Having said that with the quality of analysis that is available from others, some readers may prefer it as it currently is!

There is no better example of this than the post that follows.  It is from the blog site of Peter Sinclair ‘Climate Crocks‘.  As the ‘About‘ page says,

Peter Sinclair is a long time advocate of environmental awareness and energy alternatives. An award winning graphic artist, illustrator, and animator, Mr. Sinclair runs Greenman Studio from his home in Midland, MI.

Mr. Sinclair’s syndicated cartoons have appeared worldwide, and his work has been profiled in numerous publications, including the New York Times.  He is the producer of the YouTube series, “Climate Denial Crock of the Week”.

A couple of days ago, Peter published a post called, ““La La La I Can’t Hear You” Comes Home to Haunt GOP, in the Election, and on Climate”. I read it with interest and asked Peter if I might republish it.  In a matter of moments, I received a reply giving me such permission; here it is.

oooOOOooo

When Al Jazeera and The American Conservative are in agreement that you have a problem, you probably have a problem.

The American Conservative:

But the problem wasn’t just that conservative media gave Romney supporters bad information. The people in conservative media also seem to have been fully taken in by the idea that Romney would win and would do so in decisive fashion, and the campaign came to believe its own propaganda, too. As York notes, Romney didn’t have a prepared concession speech. It apparently never occurred to his campaign that he would lose. That’s not so remarkable by itself, but it is just one part of the overall pattern of the Romney campaign and the conservative movement’s reaction to Obama. Romney spent years running against a fantasy record and campaigning on a series of gross distortions and falsehoods, and so it shouldn’t be too surprising that his campaign and his conservative media boosters didn’t have the firmest grip on political reality.

Al Jazeera:

After the election, a number of different people tweeted about a rather obvious connection – how the same people who didn’t believe the polls don’t believe global warming, either. There’s a further correlation here: On the polling side, the supposedly most liberally-biased pollsters actually came closest to hitting the mark, both in the Fordham analysis of national polls and a more sophisticated analysis of state polls by Emory political scientist Drew Linzer at his Votamatic website.

On the global warming side, a new study comparing climate models finds that those predicting the largest climate impacts by 2100 are the most accurate in modelling climate change that’s already occurred – specifically, humidity levels related to cloud formation. In short, the reality being denied in both cases is even worse than it first appears, so attempts to “compromise” or give conservatives “the benefit of the doubt” actually lead us further astray (since I first wrote this, David Roberts of Grist has written an excellent comparison of the twin delusions).

But there is more than just a correlation here. There is a common causal factor involved: Conservatives, trusting their guts, have created their own separate reality, with their own authorities, and their reasoning dominated by ideology, where certain sorts of facts simply cannot intrude. Election day was one of those rare moments in which the bubble they live inside collapsed.

Dave Roberts in Grist:

In the face of model projections like Silver’s, Jonah Goldberg said that “the soul … is not so easily number-crunched.” David Brooks warnedthat “experts with fancy computer models are terrible at predicting human behavior.” Joe Scarborough said “anybody that thinks that this race is anything but a tossup right now is such an ideologue.” Peggy Noonan said that “the vibrations are right” for a Romney win. All sorts of conservative pundits were convinced the Romney campaign just felt like a winner.

Empiricism won. It didn’t win because it’s a truer faith or a superior ideology. It won because it works. It is the best way humans have figured out to set aside their perceptual limitations and cognitive shortcomings, to get a clear view of what’s happening and what’s to come.

As it happens, there’s another issue in American politics where empiricists are forecasting the future and being ignored. Here’s what the Nate Silvers of climate science are up to:

Looking back at 10 years of atmospheric humidity data from NASA satellites, [John Fasullo and Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research] examined two dozen of the world’s most sophisticated climate simulations. They found the simulations that most closely matched actual humidity measurements were also the ones that predicted the most extreme global warming.

In other words, by using real data, the scientists picked simulation winners and losers.

“The models at the higher end of temperature predictions uniformly did a better job,” Fasullo said. The simulations that fared worse — the ones predicting smaller temperature rises — “should be outright discounted,” he added.

The Washington Post spells out what that means:

That means the world could be in for a devastating increase of about eight degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, resulting in drastically higher seas, disappearing coastlines and more severe droughts, floods and other destructive weather.

Just reread that last paragraph a couple of times – and make a promise to yourself, and those loved ones around you, to make a positive difference starting now.  And subscribe to Peter’s blogsite!

Reflections on an election

A personal perspective on today’s American presidential election

Voting for truth!

In many ways, it’s helpful that despite being a resident of the USA I am not eligible to vote.  That’s because my residency status as a ‘Green card’ holder does not give me such entitlement.  That’s the domain of citizens, and rightly so.

The reason I find it helpful is that as a non-voter and still very much the ‘newcomer’ to this county, I view the proceedings from a different perspective; well that’s my take on things!

So here are two thoughts.

Integrity

The motivation behind Learning from Dogs came from the realisation that dogs offer mankind many lessons, especially the one of behaving with integrity.  You can read more about this aspect of dogs here.

Maybe it’s a naive hope but politicians around the world must rapidly embrace the fact that without integrity in the political processes we are all lost.  To underline this plea, go and read a recent essay that was introduced by Daniel Honan on The Big Think. Here’s a dip into that:

Larry Lessig: End Raging Cronyism, Save Our Republic

What’s the Big Idea?

If you are not planning to vote in the upcoming election, Larry Lessig has a good explanation why.

You, like most Americans, believe that money buys results in Congress. No matter who wins, you believe that corporate interests will still have too much power and prevent real change. You are correct in your belief that money buys results in Congress, Lessig says. However, he has a different prescription than non-participation.

What’s the Significance?

Lessig points out that .000015 percent, or 47 individuals, have given 42 percent of the Super PAC donations this election cycle. As a result of this “money election,” Lessig says a few powerful interests exert an influence that conflicts with the public good.

… 47 individuals, have given 42 percent of the Super PAC donations this election cycle.”  Just reflect on the power and influence that flows from such a distortion of fairness.

Truthfulness

My second thought is about being truthful.

The time for all our leaders, right across the world, to come together and face the reality of climate change is upon us.  There is no time left to duck and weave.

Peter Sinclair of ClimateCrocks blogsite recently posted this video.  Watch it and ask yourself how much longer the leader of the most powerful nation in the world can sit on the sidelines of the greatest threat to our civilisation ever seen.