Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Global Warming Critics Proved Right

In news that will send the spirits of skeptics, deniers and global warming critics soaring, their long maintained condemnation of climate change computer models has been justified.

For years, skeptics have maintained that computer driven models of global warming fail to accurately project changes to the Earth's climate. Recent research now supports their view. Unfortunately for them, the problem is that models have been too conservative in their projections.

"It turns out that global warming critics were right when they said that global climate models did not do a good job at predicting climate change," Robock commented. "But what has been wrong recently is that the climate is changing even faster than the models said. In fact, Arctic sea ice is melting much faster than any models predicted, and sea level is rising much faster than IPCC previously predicted."

The study also shows that carbon dioxide is increasing in the atmosphere faster than expected, with emissions now 35 per cent higher in 2006 than in 1990.

Equally unfortunate is that due to a general failure to read and inability to generate coherent arguments in their own defense, skeptics likely won't read far enough into this post to get the punchline.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

UK Court Defends Use of Gore Film in Classrooms

There has been a lot of rumbling in the deny-osphere in the past week concerning the results of a lawsuit brought by one Stewart Dimmock against the British Secretary of State for Education.

The case was launched by Mr. Dimmock in opposition to the distribution of An Inconvenient Truth to UK classrooms. The verdict? Despite the blustering of the right-wing press, the court's decision upheld the use of the film in classrooms while new information has cast Mr. Dimmock himself in dubious light.

In the decision itself, Justice Michael Burton cited a short list of concerns about the film that deniers throughout the media and blogosphere have been quick to jump on while ignoring the actual judgment. Justice Burton endorsed the use of An Inconvenient Truth, its accuracy, and allowed it to remain in British curriculum.

"(The film) is substantially founded upon scientific research and fact."...."The Defendant (Secretary of State for Education) will not be promoting partisan political views by enabling the showing of AIT in the context of the discussions facilitated by the Guidance Note, and is not under a duty to forbid the presentation of it in that context."

Subsequently, the man who brought this so called David vs. Goliath case to court has proved to be a stooge funded by the fuel and mining lobby.

This court case, and the mainstream coverage of it, is simply the latest ill founded attack on Gore and global warming. And for the umpteenth time deniers and their blogging supporters have followed suit without so much as a thought....because their entire argument against global warming is itself devoid of thought.

Thanks to DeSmogBlog for the great coverage of the issue.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Why Does the Right Hate Gore? Because He's Right

I’m not one to pass along a straight regurg, but today's New York Times op-ed by Paul Krugman’s is superb. He asks the simple question, “Why do Republicans hate Al Gore?”. The simple answer is because he’s right, despite all right-wing attempts to convince people otherwise.

Today, being a good Republican means believing that taxes should always be cut, never raised. It also means believing that we should bomb and bully foreigners, not negotiate with them.

So if science says that we have a big problem that can’t be solved with tax cuts or bombs — well, the science must be rejected, and the scientists must be slimed.

Which brings us to the biggest reason the right hates Mr. Gore: in his case the smear campaign has failed. He’s taken everything they could throw at him, and emerged more respected, and more credible, than ever. And it drives them crazy.

Good stuff.

The Conscious Earth Makes the Blogger Buzz

Thank you to the good folks at Blogger for tagging The Conscious Earth in their Environmental Blog Roundup. Here's the full list. Congratulations to all!

  • Cleantech Blog - Commentary on technologies, news, and issues relating to next generation energy and the environment.
  • The Conscious Earth - Earth-centered news for the health of air, water, habitat and the fight against global warming.
  • Earth Meanders - Earth essays placing environmental sustainability within the context of other contemporary issues.
  • Environmental Action Blog - Current environmental issues and green energy news.
  • The Future is Green - Thoughts on the coming of a society that is in balance with nature.
  • The Green Skeptic - Devoted to challenging assumptions about how we live on the earth and protect our environment.
  • Haute*Nature - Ecologically based creative ideas, art & green products for your children, home and lifestyle, blending style with sustainability.
  • The Lazy Environmentalist - Sustainable living made easy.
  • Lights Out America - A grassroots community group organizing nationwide energy savings events.
  • The Nature Writers of Texas - The best nature writing from the newspaper, magazine, blog and book authors of the Lone Star State.
  • Rachel Carson Centennial Book Club - Considering the legacy of Rachel Carson's literary and scientific contributions with a different book each month.
  • Sustainablog - News, information and personal meanderings related to environmental and economic sustainability, green and sustainable business, and environmental politics.
  • These Come From Trees - An experiment in environmentalism, viral marketing, and user interface design with the goal of reducing consumer waste paper.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Al Gore Wins 2007 Nobel Peace Prize

In recognition of "their efforts to build up and disseminate knowledge about man-made climate change", Al Gore and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have been announced as co-winners of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

In awarding the honour, the Nobel committee singled out Al Gore as "probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted". President Bill Clinton expressed similar feelings,

"Gore's ex-boss, former President Clinton, also said he's 'thrilled by this well-deserved recognition,' and credited Gore with 'warning and educating us about the dangers of climate change for decades. He saw this coming before others in public life.'"

Gore stated that he will donate his half of the $1.5 million dollar prize to the Alliance for Climate Protection, an organization he founded to persuade people to reduce global warming by cutting greenhouse gas pollution.

You can see the announcement via YouTube.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Airplanes, Automobiles & Emissions

Ever wonder why the media ceaselessly singles out the airline industry as a global warming pariah when it accounts for just 2% of worldwide emissions? In what might be the most irrelevant alarm call of the year, Britons have been singled out as the "world's biggest emitters of CO2 from air travel" while Great Britain itself leads the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and compliance with the Kyoto Protocol.

So why the focus on air travel? As usual, follow the money and you'll find the answer.

Far and away the single largest source of greenhouse gases is the combustion of fossil fuels, a stat being driven largely by automobile use. By no coincidence the automobile industry is also the single largest spender in media advertising, while the airline industry doesn't even make it onto the pie chart (page 7 for those checking).

By keeping attention on airline emissions, mass media has framed a convenient scapegoat that distracts public attention from the real problem and avoided a significant threat to their bottom line. The greatest irony, is that worldwide travel may be one of the most significant social forces capable of driving action on global warming.

A true solution to global warming will start with a genuine world centric awareness that encompasses the needs of all people and the limits of our biosphere. And there is little that can drive this awareness faster and more effectively than the individual decision to get on an airplane and discover something about the rest of the world.

So go ahead and book your next flight, just bike to work when you get home.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Record Setting Year for Climate Disasters

The UN is calling 2007 a global climate change "mega disaster". So far this year 12 out of a total of 13 emergency 'flash' appeals issued by the agency are being blamed on climate change. Even though the year is far from over the 13 emergency appeals are already a record, surpassing the previous high set in 2005 when only half of the total emergencies were climate change related.

"We are seeing the effects of climate change. Any year can be a freak but the pattern looks pretty clear to be honest. That's why we're trying ... to say, of course you've got to deal with mitigation of emissions, but this is here and now, this is with us already," said Sir John Holmes, a British diplomat who is also known as the UN's under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs. He has conveyed that the dire predictions about the impact of global warming on humanity were already coming true.

In the coming weeks, more emergencies are expected as West Africa is facing widespread threats of flooding. The Guardian has a slide show of the disasters to date. You can also see the pics recompiled below.