I haven't seen this reported elsewhere (so perhaps I am way off base) but I think the new statement of climate sensitivity in the IPCC AR5 represents some real good news compared with the statement in AR4 Here is the statement from AR5: Climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C, extremely unlikely... Continue Reading →
Here is the IPCC message: We are as certain that humans are radically changing the planet's climate as we are that tobacco causes cancer. Peter Gleick
With the fate of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline still in the hands of U.S. President Barack Obama five years on, Prime Minister Stephen Harper told a crowd of business leaders gathered in New York that he will not take no for an answer. I suppose the next step is to make an offer Obama... Continue Reading →
Recently a comment published in Nature made the case for a catastrophic release of the methane (a very potent GHG) in the Arctic which in turn could cause sudden warming and cause massive economic damage in the trillions of dollars. Scary stuff! But before you panic it would be worth reading through a series of... Continue Reading →
An oil spill in a tar sand operation in Northern Alberta has been going on for weeks and nobody seems to understand how it happened or how to stop it. From The Toronto Star: Oil spills at a major oil sands operation in Alberta have been ongoing for at least six weeks and have cast... Continue Reading →
Everything we do carries some element of risk. This much should be obvious. The recent horrific disaster at Lac-Mégantic underscores the fact that many aspects of our energy system such as having a rail line run through the middle of a populated area implies some level of risk. That risk is amplified when energy dense... Continue Reading →
The Star claims that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has given his new ministers asked his ministers to compile an "enemy" list to ensure they don't fall prey to anyone who might disagree with the government's policies. Artist Franke James claims to be "on it". In fact the government has amassed over 2,100 Access-to-Information documents... Continue Reading →
From Climate Science Watch: Two decisions handed down July 19 in DC Superior Court affirmed climate scientist Michael Mann’s right to proceed in his defamation lawsuit against the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the National Review Online for their statements accusing him of data manipulation and fraud. The Court is not buying the Defendants arguments in... Continue Reading →
A Song of Our Warming Planet from Ensia on Vimeo.
The R Street Institute, which split from the Heartland Institute after the billboard fiasco, has released a response to Obama's renewed commitment to tackle climate change. Unsurprisingly, given R Street's desire for small government, they aren't happy about the use of a regulatory approach to reduce GHG emissions. Instead they call for conservatives to begin... Continue Reading →
The new layout you see is just the first of many improvements we have in store for the site. In addition to the clean modern look, it will be readable on small screens, so you can catch up on the planetary perspective on the run. If you see something that isn't quite right please let... Continue Reading →
“Isn't it sad that you can tell people that the ozone layer is being depleted, the forests are being cut down, the deserts are advancing steadily, that the greenhouse effect will raise the sea level 200 feet, that overpopulation is choking us, that pollution is killing us, that nuclear war may destroy us - and... Continue Reading →
Taylor Wilson, is known as the boy who played with fusion, because at the age of 14 became the 32nd individual on the planet to achieve a nuclear-fusion reaction.
The British Columbia Green Party just made history, voters in the riding of Oak Bay-Gordon Head elected Andrew Weaver, Canada Research Chair in Climate Modelling and Analysis at the University of Victoria, and a lead author for a chapter of the IPCC AR4, to the Legislative Assembly. Andrew Weaver is the first Green party member... Continue Reading →
Recently the Canadian National Research Council has, unfortunately, drastically changed course and abandoned pure science research unless it has clear economic benefits. Many people have written eloquent criticisms of this move by the Canadian government. Phil Plait (at the above link) does a good job of explaining the why the move away from pure science... Continue Reading →
What would it take to develop the capability to send humans to another star system? That is the ambitious challenge taken up by the 100 Year Starship project. And they have set a deadline of achieving this ambitious goal within, as their name implies, the next 100 years. Meeting the challenge of sending humans on... Continue Reading →
Simon Donner makes a disturbing point: If you look at the global fossil fuel emissions data, all of the major disruptions to energy and oil use in the past 60 years caused carbon emissions to drop or level off. Annual emissions would later continue to rise at a rate similar to that before the disruption,... Continue Reading →
Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III is no smelly hippie. North Korea just annulled the 1953 armistice ending its war with South Korea. China and Japan are locked in a dispute over an island chain. But the greatest long-term threat to the peace of East Asia and Pacific Ocean — the part of the world at... Continue Reading →
From Kevin Trenberth: China now emits more carbon dioxide per year than any other country. They are changing our atmosphere, and by doing so they are changing our climate. We ought to be outraged!
There is a new hockey stick in town, one with a shaft extending back all the way back to the end start of the holocene about 12,000 years ago when the last ice age ended: In the article in science A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years the authors took... Continue Reading →
David Appell's recent article on the Nocera/Hansen dustup sums up how I feel about the pipeline perfectly: I'm not sure how I feel about the pipeline -- or rather, I have opinions about it all but they go in different directions and, like a quantum cat in Schrodinger's box I'm in several different states at... Continue Reading →
... I do not think it means what you think it means. < blockquote>Ottawa pitches the oil sands as ‘green’ Relying on Canadian crude imports is the best choice for the United States – not just because it’s reliable and secure but because of Canada’s unmatched environmental record, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said Tuesday.
More information can be found here: The Canadian government is requiring foreign researchers who collaborate with federal scientists to sign agreements that could potentially muzzle them, a U.S. scientist says.
from the what-you-don't-know-can't-hurt-you-department: One year after plans were announced for a new system to monitor the environmental effects of the Alberta tar sands, there is still no sign of any formal data... The plans indicated that scientists would release information on an ongoing basis in some cases, and on three and six-month schedules in others.... Continue Reading →
Allie Wilkinson writing in ArsTechnica brings us some bad news: Evidence from caves in Siberia indicates that a global temperature increase of 1.5° Celsius may cause substantial thawing of a large tract of permanently frozen soil in Siberia. The thawing of this soil, known as permafrost, could have serious consequences for further changes in the... Continue Reading →
In my recent post on the Keystone XL pipeline I mentioned that until digging up the bitumen becomes unprofitable there will be an endless parade of proposals to ship the bitumen to markets around the world. TansCanada (which is also behind the Keystone XL pipeline) has just announced a proposal to convert an existing natural... Continue Reading →
My latest post on the Keystone XL pipeline was, unsurprisingly, not well received by some of the Planet3.0. I argued that I don't think the fighting the Keystone XL pipeline is the best use of our limited resources. In the comments Andy Skuce provided a rebuttal that deserves to be promoted to its own post.... Continue Reading →
The Keystone XL pipeline proposal, which would transport diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to refineries on the gulf of Mexico coast, is in the news again because of the recent protests outside the White House and the because of the recent appointment of Senator John Kerry to the position of Secretary of State... Continue Reading →
Scott Vaughan, Canada's departing Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, released his final report. In it he describes how the development of Canada's natural resources is running dangerously ahead of Canada’s laws and policies to protect the environment. The Pembina Institute highlights the clearest example: Right now, the absolute (“no fault”) limit that oil... Continue Reading →