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To: Brumar89 who wrote (30722)4/13/2012 11:39:12 AM
From: Land SharkRead Replies (1) | Respond to of 61113
 
April 13 News: Without Strong Clean Energy Policy, ‘It’s Hard To See How The U.S. Can Grow,’ Warn Experts By Stephen Lacey on Apr 13, 2012 at 8:16 am


Our round-up of the latest in climate and clean energy. Please post additional links below


The U.S. government is creating a “boom and bust” in renewable energy investment that threatens to undermine its lead over China, the Pew Charitable Trusts said in a report. Phyllis Cuttino, Pew’s clean energy director, said “In the absence of long-term policy, it’s hard to see how the U.S. can grow significantly in the future.” [ Bloomberg]

In 2011, it was Texas that went up in flames, with a historic drought and searing heat wave leading to the worst wildfire season on record. A year later, another southern state affected by intense drought is bracing for a destructive wildfire season: Florida. [ Climate Central]

Scientists studying the environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are raising fresh concerns about the effect of the leaked crude on a range of sea life, from tiny animal plankton to dolphins. [ Wall Street Journal]

Fire experts say this year’s drought, low snowpack and record-high temperatures in much of the West portend a dangerous installment of what has become a year-round wildfire threat. [ Washington Post]

The Environmental Protection Agency wants cleaner air at national parks across the country, including Guadalupe Mountains and Big Bend in Texas. By November, it is supposed to complete a plan that could regulate emissions from dozens of Texas’ industrial plants, with the goal of reducing haze at parks. [ New York Times]

Climate change is likely to wreak havoc on California’s forests. Extreme weather, wildfires and insect outbreaks will all take a toll. Add to those another looming threat: disease. Forest diseases like Sudden Oak Death, which has infected trees in 14 counties in the state, stand to benefit from the effects of climate change, to the detriment, obviously, of the trees. [ National Public Radio]

Rapid climate change and its potential to intensify droughts and floods could threaten Asia’s rice production and pose a significant threat to millions of people across the region, leading climate specialists and agricultural scientists have warned. [ Zeenews]

Sea levels in the southwest Pacific started rising drastically in the 1880s, with a notable peak in the 1990s thought to be linked to human-induced climate change, according to a new study. [ AFP]



To: Brumar89 who wrote (30722)4/13/2012 2:34:40 PM
From: Land SharkRead Replies (1) | Respond to of 61113
 
13 April 12 49 Cliff Clavin’s Walk into a Bar and Talk Climate Change


This is a guest post from Dr. John Abraham

You could almost set your watch by it. It has become a regular absurdity that a bunch of non-scientists try to tell the world that they know something the experts don’t.

Those of us who watched that iconic television show called Cheers remember Cliff, the mailman. He considered himself the expert on everything even though it was painfully obvious he knew very little about anything.

Well we got our latest batch of Cliff Clavin wisdom this past week when 49 former staff members from NASA wrote a letter to NASA administrators decrying the work that the organization does on climate. It makes one wonder what the thousands of current NASA employees think of their former colleagues.

It is important to point out that the leader of this gang is none other than Harrison Schmitt, a well-known, and self-described “denier” of human-caused climate change. While he trumpets his scientific expertise, none of it relates to climate.


For those who follow the more extreme fringes of climate denialism, Harrison’s participation is not a surprise. Approximately one year ago he claimed the arctic sea ice had recovered from its dramatic declines in preceding years. That claim was false and it attracted the attention of the National Snow and Ice Data Center who had to tell us what we already knew… Harrison Schmitt didn’t know what he was talking about.
Also not surprising to real climate scientists is that the other person who apparently spearheaded this letter, Walter Cunningham, has zero climate experience.

But there must be someone in the group who knows of what they speak, right? Probably not. I performed a scientific literature search on over half the signers and found, you guessed it, zero experience. So, this is a group that might be able to build spacecraft, but they certainly aren’t a group with notable climate backgrounds.


So why the charade? While I cannot be certain, I can only guess. Perhaps, in the era of tight science budgets, this group bemoans the money spent on Earth sciences when it could be spent on manned spaceflight. I am also guessing that the denialists have run out of real scientists to speak for their cause. The small and decreasing cadre of denialist climate scientists have had a few bad years. We have had continued increases in the Earth’s temperature, extraordinary weather that has made people in states like Texas, Oklahoma, and North Dakota wonder what was happening, and increasing costs of severe weather including droughts and massive, repeated flooding.

The few second-rate scientists who used to tell us “don’t worry, this is all natural” have now mainly had their work shown to be faulty or have seemingly given up on publishing altogether. Now over 97% of experts in this field agree, humans are changing the climate. So, the denialist camp has now turned to their third-string lineup.

I’m just glad that I know some of the hard working scientists at NASA who spend long hours studying our Earth, helping us make wise decisions to protect this beautiful and bountiful planet for our future generations. It is those people and the uncountable real scientists and engineers who are working every day to solidify our understanding of the climate and help bring clean technologies to market that will not only save our environment but also create jobs, improve national security and truly diversify our energy supply.

Dr. John Abraham
Associate Professor
University of St. Thomas


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