Good news from the IPCC

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

What is the deal with Methane?

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 →

Risk; local vs global

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 →

Does Canadian PM Harper Have an #EnemyList?

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 →

DC Court affirms Michael Mann’s right to proceed in defamation lawsuit against National Review and CEI

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 →

The right response to Obama’s climate push

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 →

What you see

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

“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 →

The 100 Year Starship

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 →

We ought to be outraged!

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!

A new, longer, hockey stick

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 →

Quote of the Day

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 →

You keep using that word…

... 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.

Bury your head in the (tar) sand

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 →

Melting permafrost

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 →

Another pipeline proposal

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 →

Thinking beyond pipelines: A rebuttal

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 →

Thinking beyond pipelines

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 →

Canadian Environmental regulations are falling behind

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 →

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