Monday, December 22, 2008
Bushism has turned the US from a viable, productive society into a nonviable consumer culture. It almost seems as if the main products of the eight-year American Disenlightenment have been corpses for the Mideast and carbon emissions for the planet. The whole setup here is now an anthropological extreme. Is there another region in the developed world that is that unsustainable? Is there no will for a future? Florida schools will close—completely—for two weeks. The University of South Florida is shut down. Last week, when bicycling from campus at night, I noticed the first homeless camp at 56th Street. A fire was lit in a bucket. Silent people were sitting around the light on camping chairs. Cars and SUVs were parked all around.
It is unsettling to see this, and it is important to spread the wealth—haves must give to have-nots. And yet, and with full respect to workers victimized now, there is a strange rational comfort in the unfolding failure. For eight years, Bushists tormented the world with policies that were criminal and stupid. The collapsing American paradigm has been a particularly heartless form of Postmodernity—masquerading as sophistication, it is a simplistic disdain for secular absolutes such as natural patterns and human universals. But if a culture is so proud that it takes exception from environments, then environments will pull it in. And if an intelligentsia believes that no truth prevails, that no rules apply, and that history is messy, then truth will hurt, rules will strike, and history will bite and draw blood. Such paradigmatic collapse reassures one about the meaning of life.
Last month climate events were trapped in eddies of information—some things pointed one way, other things pointed another. Now data swirls have straightened out once more into a linear flow. Climate change is worsening faster than expected. The first commercial vessel has made it through the Northwest Passage. The crew of a German icebreaker circumnavigating the North Pole has seen tons of snow. It used to be too cold (too dry!) to snow a lot. Snow insulates--fluffy flakes blanketing young sea ice stop it from thickening. Reason through the seasons and figure out the rest: wimpy ice forming undersnow melts sooner when the sun returns, creating more open waters, causing more evaporation, yielding more snow, thinning more ice, and kicking in a runaway process.
Climate also changes now in South Polar regions. Two months ago it appeared Antarctica was still exempt from warming. Last month it appeared that warming had begun. This month it came out that warming has been ongoing for a while.
Overall, climate change has sharpened in 2008. An informal summary at AP (12.15.) is plain enough: “Since Clinton's inauguration, summer Arctic sea ice has lost the equivalent of Alaska, California and Texas. The 10 hottest years on record have occurred since Clinton's second inauguration. Global warming is accelerating ... Scientists are increasingly anxious, talking more often and more urgently about exceeding ‘tipping points’ … U.S. emissions have increased by 20 percent since 1992. China has more than doubled its carbon dioxide pollution in that time. World carbon dioxide emissions have grown faster than scientists' worst-case scenarios. Methane, the next most potent greenhouse gas, suddenly is on the rise again and scientists fear that vast amounts of the trapped gas will escape from thawing Arctic permafrost. The amount of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere has already pushed past what some scientists say is the safe level ... some scientists, but not all, say the safe carbon dioxide level for Earth is about 10 percent below what it is now ... Scientists fear that what's happening with Arctic ice melt will be amplified so that ominous sea level rise will occur sooner than they expected. They predict Arctic waters could be ice-free in summers, perhaps by 2013, decades earlier than they thought only a few years ago ... Ironically, 2008 is on pace to be a slightly cooler year in a steadily rising temperature trend line. Experts say it's thanks to a La Nina weather variation. While skeptics are already using it as evidence of some kind of cooling trend, it actually illustrates how fast the world is warming. The average global temperature in 2008 is likely to wind up slightly under 57.9 degrees Fahrenheit, about a tenth of a degree cooler than last year. When Clinton was inaugurated, 57.9 easily would have been the warmest year on record. Now, that temperature would qualify as the ninth warmest year.” On a more formal level, papers at AGU 2008 underline this; for specifics see “climatology” below.
Worsening consequences are in step with intensification of damage done. Culture and nature are locked in a brutal dance. The causal interplay beats out with cruel simplicity. K Anderson (U Manchester) states (12.9.), “carbon emissions since 2000 have risen much faster than anyone thought possible, driven mainly by the coal-fuelled economic boom in the developing world. So much extra pollution is being pumped out … that most of the climate targets debated … are fanciful at best, and ‘dangerously misguided’ at worst … it is improbable levels could now be restricted to 650 ppm.”
While things are linear in climate events, they swirl again in policy. The gathering at Poznan was the most harmonious climate policy meeting ever; activists and politicians had no quarrel. It was weird really, like a bong party with everyone chilling in sync. And while everyone agreed, nothing really happened. Exhausted dudes chilling. Europeans emerge as global leaders. But then again, all they do is stay on a ridiculously unrealistic target. The New World is swirly too. Americans gear up for change. But the old regime holds on to power. Obama assembles a cool climate team. Bush issues one Anti-Future Rule after another. The last item spins the swirl. For while Poznan left not much of a trace, Bushist deregulations will. We have come to expect great Evil from Bushism, but these final acts are a surprise: criminally corrupt, satanically destructive, brilliantly designed, and legally solid. T. Dickinson explains in Rolling Stone (12.25.) how hard it will be to reverse them. They’ll hamstring US policies for a long time to come. Passing the torch, indeed.
"Americans flunked Global Warming 101."
David Craig (thanks Professor John Anton!)
BEST CULTURAL ESSAY
David J Craig, "The Deep Sleep--are Americans waking up to global warming?" Columbia Magazine fall 2008, pp. 14-21
The climate philosophy newsletter is being put together now.
… China: extreme cold 12.22.
… US: extreme cold 12.22.
… Canada: extreme cold 12.21.
… Europe: extreme cold 12.19.
... UN Ban: "2009 will be year of climate change" 12.19.
... Swiss glaciers "in full retreat" 12.19.
... Arctique: moins de glace, plus de chaleur 12.18.
... Greenland: melt seems to pick up speed 12.17.
... Arctic: melt passed the point of no return? 12.17.
... Arctic: over 2 trillion tons of ice melted since 2003 12.17.
... Arctic: "things happen much faster" 12.13.
... England flash floods 12.13.
... North America: uneven climate change unfolding 12.12.
... World beaches: jellyfish invasions ruin tourist spots 12.12.
... Texas: snow record in Houston 12.10.
... Siberia: methane release now even during frost 12.5.
... Planet: 2008 coolest year of the decade 12.5.
... Arctic: rasante Erwaermung -- unwiderruflich gekippt? 12.4.
... Ocean acidification increasingly harms whales 12.4.
... Arctic: new data--ice thickness "plummeted last winter" 12.2.
... Venice record flood 12.2.
... Antarctica: new rift in Wilkins Ice Shelf 11.29.
... Northwest passage: first commercial ship travels 11.28.
… US: summary of Bushist last-minute deregulations 12.25.
… US: more methane please—deregulating factory farms 12.20.
… US: new science team 12.20.
... US: more carbon please—vetoing greenhouse regulations 12.19.
… US: Holden, a better science advisor 12.18.
... EU approves climate change package 12.18.
… US: more oil drilling please—Utah wilderness for sale 12.17.
... US: catalogue of anti-future deregulation 12.14.
... Australia plans to cut emissions only 5-15 pct 12.15.
... US Obama left with little time to curb global warming 12.15.
... Poznan: "looking to leadership from Europe" 12.13.
... EU Council reaffirms climate targets 12.13.
... Poznan: slow progress while threats mount 12.13.
... Poznan: "Green New Deal" 12.12.
... Poznan: 19 pct of world coral reefs are now lost 12.11.
... Mexico leads the way with 50 pct emissions pledge 12.11.
... Poznan: climate conference hampered by US change 12.10.
... Poznan: don't leave climate policy to World Bank 12.10.
... Poznan: how construction companies can trim emissions 12.8.
... US: the Big Three lobbied $ 50 m against climate policies 12.4.
... US: more carbon please—deregulating mountain top mining 12.3.
... Poznan: world youth embarrassed by US delegation 12.2.
... Poznan: small farmers key to climate mitigation 12.2.
... UK: the first call for an international climate court 12.1.
... Poznan: economy offers excuse to avoid climate fight 11.30.
... Poznan: indigenous people demand climate voice 11.28.
… Bush’s philosophy stoked consumerist bonfire 12.21.
... Oil at $ 36 12.18.
... B McGraw: when the cars co away 12.13.
... US: more roadkills please—deregulating wildlife protection 12.12.
... US children in McMansions go without food 12.12.
... NYT editors: how bad will energy crisis be 2025? 12.11.
... UK: "green Banksy" cuts UK carbon output by 2 pct 12.11.
... World Oil consumption drops for the first time in 25 yrs 12.11.
... M Savinar: where are things going? 12.10.
... floating offshore windpower 12.9.
... EU carbon trading brings windfalls for some 12.9.
... US: Detroit SUV church service 12.9.
... UK environment secretary: climate people power 12.8.
... US: Obama pledges vast public works 12.6.
... US: CNN gets rid of science unit 12.5.
... UK urged to speed up climate action 12.2.
... US: dozens of new anti-environmental rules 12.2.
... Sun: new 11 year cycle spells trouble 12.1.
... Canada: Toronto bans sale of bottled water 12.11.
... B McKibben: the most important number on Earth 12.17.
… K Strickler: 80 pct greenhouse reduction needed 12.16.
... B Obama: "We're on an unsustainable course and it has to change" 12.11.
... G Monbiot: cyberspace climate gibberish 12.9.
... how software doomed the markets 11.30.
... L Segura: benefits of prosecuting Bush 11.28.
... R Cohen: a command of the law 11.27.
... Meister Eckhart Haus: Zitate
O Heffernan AGU 08 overshooting 2 C likely climate feedback 12.18.
Tamino 2008 temperature summaries and spin Open Mind 12.17.
G Schmidt 2008 temperature summaries and spin Real Climate 12.16.
K Anderson expect the worst Tyndall Centre, U Manchester 12.9.
C Colose an update to Kiehl and Trenberth 1997 wordpress 12.10.
Q Schiermeier N Atlantic cold water sink returns to life Nature 10.1038/news.2008.1262
K Vage surprising return of deep convection to N Atlantic Nature Geo 10.1038/ngeo382
J Hrynyshyne post on Vage island doubt 12.2.
M Jacobson review of solutions EES 10.1039/b809990c
J Tollefson AGU 08 and the winner is wind climate feedback 12.19.
J Hrynshyn another vote for 350 ppm island doubt 12.12.
J Luoma capturing the ocean’s energy E 360 Yale 12.4.
North Pole (repost)
X Zhang rapid changes in Arctic climate AGU 10.1029/2008GL035607
O Heffernan AGU 08 significant Antarctica warming climate feedback 12.19.
N Kehrwald mass loss on Himalayan glacier GRL 10.1029/2008GL035556
On Skeptical Swirls
T Tamino heavy snow job wordpress 12.20.
C Colose Easterbrook and ‘global cooling’ wordpress 11.11.
P Plait greenhouse hot air discover 11.6.
D Easterbrook evidence for global cooling (sic!) 11.2.
And thus we slide into the new calendar year ...
Friday, December 12, 2008
"What we need, today, is leadership -- leadership by you," Ban said and went on: "We look for that leadership from the European Union."
Referring to a parallel EU summit, UN Secretary-General Ban went on: "The decisions currently made by European leaders in Brussels are of great consequence for the whole world." A day later, Brussels' decision was to stay on target. The European Council reaffirmed the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to four fifths of the 1990 baseline as the benchmark set for the year 2020 (p. 8-9 pdf; pdf).
"We look for leadership from the United States. It is therefore encouraging to hear about the incoming administration's plan to put alternative energy, environmentalism and climate change at the very center of America's definition of national security, economic recovery, and prosperity. We see encouraging movement elsewhere, as well."
The torch has passed.
In other words, Europe, show us the way.
And America, thanks for getting up to speed and wanting to catch up.
Philosophically, via Enlightenment and Weltweisheit, you might ask what to make of this. Overall "this"is good. Clearer environmental trends are now matched by clearer planetary policies. Think about it: the worst pose to strike is to deny the very reality that threatens us. Posers are being exposed as posers and sent to the back of the line.
Put differently, over climate, the world community has a problem that can be solved through a coherent, realistic, and wise response. Now such a response is happening. Europe is taking the point, backed up by the international community. And that's what you do.
It's also good that the Europeans are not wavering in their resolve and are not going back on their word at Kyoto, especially now that capitalistic thumbscrews are tightening on global social welfare.
What's not good is the benchmark set, and this is obvious from the science since Kyoto. Remember, we're at 385 parts per million of atmospheric CO2, an apocalyptic concentration. For kids to have any chance at a good future, we must get down to 350 ppm at least. And that's only CO2; we haven't even started with serious benchmarks for methane or that orb-blistering plasma TV gas, NF3.
In a deeper conceptual way, it is also a relief that US climate policies have failed and that America is passing the torch to greater realists. US climate policies had been in sour denial of biospherical absolutes. They were guided by a contempt for facts and science—a contempt for objective reality. And in swing with American military activities, US climate policies were guided by contempt for civil evolution and moral universals. For how can there be civil evolution as long as the American way of life is non-negotiable? How could moral universals ever become meaningful in the face of American exceptionalism?
Somehow, this most admirable American trait, tolerance for dissent and freedom of opinion, was twisted by the Bush rule, consumerist media, and conventional academics into a self-serving skepticism. Old modern tolerance turned into new postmodern even-handedness: the idea that everything, including human rights and climate change, has another side to it. Postmodernity became Main Street, USA.
The USA was the flower of the Enlightenment. Yet go to a Philosophy or Humanities department in the past decade and ask a conventional American professor about the merits of that age. Odds are she’d launch into an ironic discourse or a dismissive critique. The values and views that built the American century had been deconstructed by its postmodern offspring and led to the opposite: Bushism, or the American Disenlightenment.
So the torch passed at Poznań. And so it is good. For imagine the alternative—imagine Bushism would now reign triumphant. Then all the insights one holds dear as wisdom, by ancients like Laozi, Confucius, or Aristotle, and by moderns like Kant, would have been just ‘narratives,’ just ‘viewpoints.’ Imagine this, and ask yourself: Can we go against the Tao, the Analects, the Nicomachean Ethics, and get away with it? Can we screw the Enlightenment and succeed?
U.S. President Bush, the climate-changer-in-chief, tried and failed.
With Poznań, the postmodern experiment has ended.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Empirically, this is new: one, the 2008 hurricane season set a record. Two, the South Pole, until now defying the planetary trend, has started to heat up. Three, indications of an incipient poop loop continue to be published (see Ise, also Rigby). Next there are swirls over whether things are improving or getting FUBAR instead. There's the Big Chill hope (Crowley/Hyde) contra accelerated heating; there's the happy black carbon story (Lehmann) contra the unhappy one (UNEP); there's news on a nice negative feedback loop over the warming-induced growing capacity of soil for carbon lockdown (Feng) contra a nasty positive feedback loop over atmospheric methane (Rigby). There's also a swirl over data analysis and mystifying measurements (a NASA blooper; HadCRUT 3 V), with a counterpoint on "highly improved predictive skills in forecasting" (Lee). All swirls aside, we pretty much know now that 350 ppm CO2 is the absolute limit of safety; any higher than that and all bets are off (Hansen). We're now at 385 ppm. For details, scroll down to 'climatology'.
Rationally, crazy jokes can point the way. There was an awesome rip-off of the New York Times. The Yes Men, a group of artists, created a fake NYT, in a sci-fi world, dated Independence Day 2009. To the extent climate philosophy is this century's version of "world wisdom" or weltweisheit, the visionary fakery is a milestone on the way.
Imagine, with Leibniz and Lennon, we make progress now. Not a minimalistic techno-version -- no, the real deal, the full-blown, evolutionary Buddha-land-let's do it best-of-all-possible worlds version that was clear to Kant in The Idea of an Overall History in Global Village Intention (1784) and in Toward Steady Peace: A Philosophical Design (1795). Imagine this and ask: what's the work that needs to be done? Which policies got to go; which ones must get going? Don't stop imagining; go farther: suppose we do it right -- how would a step on the way look like? "All the news we hope to print" is a slap in the face of all cynics and an art happening par excellence: 1.2 mio fake papers were handed out. Reactions: "O it's possible; 'course it is." -- "say what??" And yes we can: a dream of Wolffian ambition; a blueprint for kickstarting climate evolution.
Culturally, things are heading right along. Environmental Ethics, taught each fall, is evolving to another level. We can accept data that caused debates only a year or two ago. This consensus propels us to new insights. Energy that used to go into debating the reality of problems can now be spent on mapping out pathways to solutions. There are swirls in the flow: this stunning civil evolution towards a post-carbon, post-consumerist, and post-capitalist social order is urged along by the crash of the carbon, consumerist, and capitalist lifestyle, a crash that puts people out of work, turns them out of homes, bars them from health care, and destroys life savings.
Politically, the US election is a leap toward a climate policy guided by realism and humanity. It's not a small step; it's a real leap: not only will American destructiveness under Bush abate after 20 Jan 2009 but also yield to constructiveness under Obama. Yet eddies swirl. Bush isn't sitting on his hands. Post-election, the neocon junta has defecated a swill of toxic acts on the heads of a distracted public.
No joke: G19 leaders snub the Climate Changer in Chief
(the "no handshakes with double-you" video 11.20.)
Locally, USF has now formed a sustainability committee. Green is not for sissies but for survivalists and thus joins a widening pragmatic Kantian stream. Yet eddies and swirls turn the current: plummeting domestic gas prices, now half of what they'd been at the pump four months ago, immediately show themselves on the road. Once again I seem to be the only bicyclist in Tampa, and once again the Hummers, Alfa Romeos, Tundras and Jaguars are back out in full force, snarling, growling, crawling on rail-less avenues girding USF.
Here and now it's dry. The rainy season was a flop. I ran last week from Trout Creek to the Hillsborough River at Morris Bridge. The water there is as low now as I remember it summers ten years ago. The other coast has worse problems with weird dry weather. Sorry Los Angeles: --surrounded by wildfires--?? you've gotta be kidding.
Many Americans have already bought their last car
-- they just don't know it yet.
Jim Kunstler 11.10
... Antarctic Wilkins shelf forms new rifts 11.29.
... 2008 hurricane season sets new records 11.25.
... Australia floods 11.20
... Colorado waldsterben 11.19.
... Montana waldsterben 11.18.
... California fires (pix) 11.17.
... California fires 11.15.
... Texas post-Ike tent cities 11.14.
... Earth: destabilizing marine biota 11.12.
... Arctic ice reduction analysis 11.4.
... Antarctica now starting to warm up too 10.31.
... Kashmir climate change 10.23.
... Australia freak weather strike 10.22.
... Antarctic ozone hole grew again in 2008 10.7.
... Bayern verlangt Abkehr von Klimazielen 11.23.
... UN publishes draft proposal ahead of Poland meet 11.21.
... Ozone Treaty parties agree to cut more climate emissions 11.20.
... Asian-Pacific climate change momentum fading 11.20.
... Quebec/Ontario ready protect 50% of forest as climate tool 11.19.
... US: Obama's Climate Poznan address 11.19.
... US: Bush permits exploitation of dirtiest fuel on the planet 11.19.
... US: Bush deregulates Clean Air Act near National Parks 11.19.
... US: Bush deregulates Endangered Species Act 11.19.
... Earth: rocky road to Copenhagen (J Lash) 11.14.
... US: anti-climate policy deepens for now 11.12.
... US: Obama's energy challenge (M Klare) 11.10.
... Maldives invest in new homeland 11.10.
... US: the climate for change (A Gore) 11.9.
... Beijing climate conference 11.8.
... US: Bush's climate sins 11.8.
... China asks rich nations to fight climate change 11.7.
... US: Bush's final destructive moves 11.3.
... Global citizens rank climate concerns ahead of economy 11.25.
... Oil sands carbon capture inefficient 11.25.
... Sun setting on the American Century? 11.21. (NIC 2025 report)
... Oil at $ 48 11.20.
... "The Year of Unsustainability" The Economist 11.19.
... Congo violence reaches deeper into forest 11.17.
... India lands on the Moon 11.15.
... Oil at $ 57 11.14.
... US debt reaches $ 5 trillion 11.12.
... US consumerist excess slows 11.11.
... US may lose AAA rating 11.10.
... Earth resource crisis 10.29.
... B McKibben: multiplication saves the day 11.27.
... J Kunstler: zombie economics 11.24.
... American mass transit funding triumph 11.18.
... German Greens pick Turkish leader 11.16.
... France: flour is for fur 11.15.
... US Blackwater busted 11.15.
... US finally shitty enough to make progress 11.5.
... US optimodals living off the grid 11.10.
... Question: how sexy are superfast trains? 10.29.
... Answer: very sexy!
... US bailout costs more than WW2 in inflation adjusted cost 11.24.
... Maryland police spies on climate activists 11.20.
... New York MTA cuts 11.19.
... Irish film makers 11.17.
... Californians 11.14.
... Floridians 11.6.
... Crowley/Hyde "Pleistocene climate variability" Nature 456: 226-30
... A Revkin "Will next ice age be a long one? " dotearth 11.12.
... A Revkin "More on whether a big chill is nigh" dotearth 11.13.
Black Carbon (cool in soil):
... Cornell University: "Decrease climate predictions" 11.20.
... J Lehmann, "Australian feedback reduced" Nat Geosci ngeo358
Black Carbon (hot in air):
... UN EP report: Atmospheric brown clouds Nov 08 pdf
... Tamino "ABC" 11.16.
... NASA blooper: the mountain version 11.16.
... NASA blooper: the molehill version 11.11.
... NASA blooper: the NASA version 11.13.
... Real Climate post on a warming interpretation gap 11.18.
... E Lee, "Highly improved monsoon forecast" AGU 10.29.
... T Ise, "Peat decomposition water-table feedback" Nat Geosci
... X Feng, "Increased cuticular carbon sequestration" Nat Geosci
... M Rigby, "Growth of atmospheric methane" AGU 11.20. CO2
... R Alley "Glacier flow in changing times" Science 322: 1061-62
... L Stearns, "Increased flow speed" Nat Geosci 10.1038/ngeo356
... N Gillett, "Anthropogenic polar warming" Nat Geosci ngeo338
... X Zhang, "Radical shift in arctic atmospheric circulation" GPR 35
... oldie post on this site -- the Big Lurch: 213 ft or 65 m
Other blips on the radarscreen:
... R Jackson, "Protecting climate with forests"ERL 3, 11.11
... O Heffernan, "In hot water," Nature 10.1038/climate.2008.117
The upper limit of safety:
... J Hansen, "Target atmospheric CO2" pre-publication ms. (arXiv)
Open Atmospheric Science Journal Nov 08, in press
On the plasma-TV-crowd:
... word's spreading on NF3 or nitrogen trifluoride. It's like this: if you commute by car, you're clearly not a very good person. But if you also got a plasma TV, it would seem you're an orb-blistering asshole.
And thus we peter out, in eddies and whirls, until next time...
Monday, November 10, 2008
The election marks the return to constitutional values and a retreat from the abyss approached since 2000. It also marks a U-turn over respect for humanity. The past eight years had seen oil warfare, secret arrests, wanton torture, special rendition, and the buildup of concentration camps. My old friend Urs from the Bavarian Forest had one word for the US policies of the Bush junta: menschenverachtend -- policies contemptuous of human beings.
Now there is hope the USA will ease back into the civilized world of universal human rights, not just human rights for Christians, Jews, and rich people. Of course inhumanity remains an American status quo for the time being: globally, America has become prison planet, with more folks under lockdown than anywhere else on Earth, and locally, USF Professor Sami Al-Arian continues to do time in a gringo jail for having committed the sin of being Muslim and Palestinian. And Bush, still in power for two months, may well sign a few more execution orders at home and order a few more air raids abroad.
Yet the U-turn is happening. It also concerns the future of humanity. It is safe to say that American exceptionalism over global warming will now end and that president-elect Obama won't enter the annals of history as the climate changer in chief his predecessor had been.
It's amazing to surf world media and read how the whole planet is breathing a huge sigh of relief. It's the relief of worried onlookers who watch Americans recover from an eight year stretch of insanity.
More mixed, both good and bad, are the news for American Thought. Philosophers like to look at what they're doing as abstract work of no political consequence. And who knows which way causality flows, from the polis to the philosophers, or the other way around. But it's clear that most US philosophers didn't cover themselves with glory in the past eight years. And to the extent that they were standing in the sidelines, they had aided and abetted, or at least cheered on, the Bushist spectacle of menschenverachtende policies.
Sure, if any of my colleagues happen to read this, they'd shake their heads, shrug off these charges, and roll their eyes (again) at the Mad Hun. And granted, most of the colleagues in the field consider themselves "liberal" (whatever that means) and oppose Bushist policies. But, at the same time, they are implicated in the Bushist legacy both in practice and in theory. In practice, in that American philosophers with paychecks tend to buy wholesale into the consumerist lifestyle that Bushism encourages and represents--they live in the suburbs; they own houses; they drive cars; they are collectors, and they pray at the altar of free-wheeling capitalism. In practice, American philosophers represent consumerist conventions.
And in theory, because Bushism has been the first truly postmodern government in American history. In Bushism, truth was in the eye of the beholder; facts were negotiable; scientific findings were to be treated with a "healthy" dose of skepticism; and moral problems tended to have at least two sides. And that's just what many of my colleagues argue in their seminars and in their books. It's been the zeitgeist. Was it surprising that eventually some students of Plato's Republic, Hume's Treatise, Derrida's L'écriture et la différence, and Rorty's Mirror of Nature would take the ideas found there and use them, à la Karl Rove, in their political consequence?
The problem with a philosophical case against the violations of human rights and the perpetration of climate change that the world has come to associate with Bushist America is that making such a case would require a philosopher to be dogmatic and to come out as a Wolffian and as an absolutist. But American philosophers espouse an antithetical mentality: dogmatism is wacko, while skepticism is tough-minded intelligence; Hume is a famous historical figure taught everywhere, while Wolff is unknown (pdf); absolutism is dismissed, while relativism is always good for class discussion or a book chapter.
Thus, on human rights, for instance, American thinkers tend to be largely in favor but lace such favor with doubt. If we caught Bin Laden's advisor, should we not torture the next 9-11 plan out of him? Puzzles of this sort make conventional philosophers frown into their tea cups and mumble something about 'difficult' and 'hard problems'.
As one result, here at USF, from 2001 to 2008, the Mad Hun was the only faculty who taught an anti-government course, the Tao of War, whose point consisted in the comparison of Bush and Hitler, and whose grading requirement consisted in the analysis of past and present strategic failures in light of daoist military manuals. Colleagues taught pro-establishment topics such as the philosopher-kings of Plato's Republic and the ways of doubting in Hume's Treatise -- and looked the other way when the Mad Hun raved on.
As another result, the topic of climate has met with curious resistance in American philosophy during the same time period. In 2004 I first raised the subject in faculty meetings, my words were met with polite coughs and quiet snickers. In 2005 Katrina contra New Orleans opened minds enought to entertain the possibility of a climate conference, but it would take yet another year before this was possible. In the 2006 conference half of the faculty participated; the other half pointedly stayed away. (My esteemed colleague colleague Charles Guignon wanted to join in but was indisposed.) Among those who did participate, two of the inhouse presenters gave papers on unrelated subjects that didn't mention the offending terms ("global warming," "climate change") with a single breath, while one of the faculty panelists -- an ethicist no less -- openly rejected climatology findings. In 2007 I asked the former presidents of the Florida Philosophical Association to issue a call for papers on climate for the next annual meeting, and while my colleagues at the FPA found my request "interesting" they also denied it. Even in 2008, this resistance continued, and at USF, an associate dean of the honors college vetoed the plan for a regular climate seminar.
But all this are small potatoes. Historic is that the Gringo Square of Flawed Cognition has suffered a crucial blow. And contrary to what some historians might think, history is not messy, but in the end, historical verdicts are rational and clear. The crash of turbo capitalism raises questions about Adam Smith. The fall of Sarah Palin raises questions about the Baby Jesus. The failure of Bushism overall raises questions about Ayn Rand. And the defeat of the climate skeptics raises questions about David Hume. Now, hopefully, we can throw out bad philosophies with the trash and pray that the American Disenlightenment has come to an end.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
But even here civil enlightenment is happening. For the first time since the summer of '68, the bourgeois paradigm is breaking up. Minds have become more open to suggestions. A new honesty, a new humility, is settling in. Is this the first step to climate evolution?
On the climate front, the first positive feedback loop--the melt loop--is up and running. Round and round it goes: thawing sea icea ... lowers marine albedo ... which increases insolation absorption ... which thaws sea ice ... and now start the sentence again. In the melt loop, we're now thirty years ahead of the predictions. In mid-autumn 2008, we see stuff that had been believed, in 2006, to happen only in 2040. The North Pole will be blue within a decade.
A second feedback loop appears to be coalescing as well. A year ago I called its first inklings the poop loop. Last fall, methane release had been seen in some spots in the high arctic, with tundra permafrost getting mushy and farting out CH4 from clathrate deposits. Now CH4 release seems to have spread to the seas. If we're lucky these will remain isolated incidents. Yet evidence is hardening that an arctic methane release has started. CH4 is a stronger greenhouse gas than CO2 but there's less of it, and to date, it has done little climate forcing. Now the poop may form a loop: more smelly CH4 heats up the air more, which warms up the sea more, which breaks down more clathrates tucked away in ocean floor sediments, which makes more CH4 bubble up to the surface ... and now start the sentence again. The poop loop. (For past reference and a present reality check, see the Permian-Triassic event.)
So the situation is sharpening. In July I guessed that even if Copenhagen 2009 will result in rational emission caps by 2012, average temps will be up 3.3 C by 2100 . Now a group, lead by J Hansen, submitted a paper to Open Atmospheric Science Journal that suggests temps will be up 6 C. Not three degrees. Six degrees. That's ten and a half in Fahrenheit. Pragmatically, this means our 385 ppm CO2 must be lowered to 350 ppm. That's where we stand.
Tearing up I-4 and turning it into a railroad corridor would be a start.
The fall issue of the Climate Philosophy Newsletter is in preparation. Kindly send information about climate-related conceptual research to the Mad Hun at schonfeld @ cas.usf.edu. I plan to include an address roster of all the folks at the climate philosophy listserv. Melinda Rosenberg (U North Carolina-Pembroke) will review the conference on "Human Flourishing & Restoration in the Age of Global Warming" at Clemson University. Thom Heyd (U Victoria) will review the "Field Being and Climate" panel at the World Philosophy Congress at Seoul and the "Philosophy and Climate Symposium" at the Society for Human Ecology at Western Washington University.
This past weekend the Western Canadian Philosophical Association hosted a Climate Symposium at the University of Alberta. Thom Heyd talked on "Philosophy and Climate Change"; Kent Peacock (University of Lethbridge) made "The Case for Environmental Realism"; Bruce Morito (Athabasca University) explained "Ethics of Climate Change," and I contributed, in absentia, a paper on the Gringo Square: "The Heuristic Impact of Climate on Philosophy". Word has it that the symposium was fun, the discussion lively, and the range of ideas fresh and sparkling. Progress on critical paths ...
R F Kennedy/B De Melle, Unearthed: the News without the Chaff
"In a hundred years, all philosophy will be naturalized Hegelianism anyway."
Ivan Marquez (Bentley U), talking about Kenneth Westphal (U Kent), Oct 2008
... Yemen desert ravaged by floods 10.24.
... Honduras suffers extreme flooding 10.24.
... Siberian polar bears dying out 10.24.
... Haiti, storm-ravaged, pleas for international help 10.21.
... climate changing faster than expected (wwf)
... das Desaster naht früher als erwartet 10.20.
... climate change "faster and more extreme" 10.20.
... climate change "faster, stronger, sooner" 10.20.
... Burma typhoon help update 10.20.
... Alaska village faces eroded future 10.14.
... California wildfires lead to evacuations in LA 10.13.
... Montana gets earliest snow on record 10.11.
... Greenpeace offers climate/economics blueprint 10.27.
... ecologists raise alarm ahead of UN summit 10.13.
... preparations for Poznan Climate conference (Oct)
... US challenges to a post-Bush climate policy 10.2.
... Humans consume 30% more than is sustainable 10.29.
... Oil at $ 59 10.27.
... USA: 10 ways to steal the election (Nov)
... USA: 12 ways to safeguard your vote (Oct)
... Oil at $ 64 10.24.
... Pakistan stares into the abyss 10.23.
... Florida electronic early-voting fraud 10.21.
... W Virginia electronic early-voting fraud 10.18.
... UN: financial chills are ill wind for climate 10.9.
... grain piles up in ports 10.8.
... partying powers Dutch nightclub 10.24.
... engineering drought-resistant crops 10.23.
... A Greenspan shocked that free markets are flawed 10.23
... C Hamilton: let's call the whole thing off! 10.21.
... Singapore ecoarchitecture 10.14.
... G. Monbiot: this is what denial does 10.14.
... P Krugman wins economics Nobel 10.13.
... UK eco-town plan falters 10.26.
... US alternative energy suddenly faces headwinds 10.20.
... Bush chooses to keep Guantanamo open 10.20.
... G Palast: will the GOP steal another US election? 10.14.
... Alaskan pollock fishery near collapse 10.13.
... US media: ABC vetos airing of climate protection ad 10.10.
K Caldeira: "Climate change: taming the angry beast," book review of Broecker/Kunzig 2008, Science 322 (2008): 376-377
W Dorn et al., "The recent decline of the arctic summer sea-ice cover in the context of internal climate variability," Open Atmospheric Science Journal 2 (2008): 91-100
M Lemonick, "Global warming: beyond the tipping point," Scientific American special issue 4 (2008): 60-68
various authors, "How our economy is killing the Earth," special report, New Scientist 2678 (2008): 40-41
P Rochette et al., "Nitrous oxide emissions respond differently to no-till in a loam and a heavy clay soil," Soil Science Society of America Journal 72 (2008): 1363-1369
Friday, October 03, 2008
Solving a problem requires the guts to see the problem. Trouble is, when the problem is scary, guts tend to be in short supply. No one likes to hear, “I think you got a problem, bud,” especially in a culture that considers itself as the solution to the world's problems. As it so happens, such trouble tends to end naturally. Problems, freely ignored and left untended, just fester out of sight. Eventually their runaway growth will have you surrounded. Then, when your knee-jerk reaction to bad news is to turn a cold shoulder and look in a different, more pleasing direction, you're trapped. The problem, encircling you, stares you in the face. Like, now.
Which is good, really, because then we're finally having a conversation. So kindly step in and stick around. Let's hunker down and see what’s happening. I blog you my piece. You email me yours. Uniform data flows open minds. I suggest we make two steps; one, to face up to the problem, and two, to point toward a solution.
The problem, as I see it, began nearly a decade ago. The US started an economic experiment and much of the world joined in. What would happen, the US experimenters wondered, if we left the dull old middle ground of market-plus-rules, tossed out rules, and freed the market? The experimenters' hope was that doing so would rock; that everything would be awesome; that the US, already on top of the world, would be, well, much more toppest.
The experiment's over. The answer is in. “Uh, Houston, please come in; we have a problem.” The US got owned. The US fell from the top. The fabulous Bushist faceplant -- an epic, epic fail. Without rules and out of whack, the market flopped. The Stern Report, of the UK Treasury 2006, defines climate change as the biggest market failure ever seen. Historic this month is that there’s a new failure now, of the market itself—at least the turbo-charged, predatory, and experimental version pushed by the US.
Data had been clear enough already for a while. Things were vague but there was no fog. It was possible to think like a cloud. Look—in February I posted that the markets were trembling. In March I cited S Borgerson, on climate change, who wrote that self-preservation requires an enlightened, humble, and strategic response. And truly, honestly, absolutely, doesn’t it always? In April I blogged that downsizing had begun and that information was surging. In May it became clear that an opportunity for change is looming in the smoke; I cited D Korten that now is the hour. In June it became visible that systems failure had begun. In July the trendlines kept paying out – biospherical degradation worsened; economic decline accelerated. Climate-wise, July was the month in the US that climate censorship was lifted. August and September saw continuations of July’s trends, and I blogged that biospherical thumbscrews are tightening. Yet reactions to the tightening thumbscrews were ambiguous: over climate change, global policy made progress; US rulers made regress. In October, right now, the matrix is reloading. The reload has started with the economy. It is happening now. In the name of self-preservation I expect it to extend into ecology toward a new vision.
PS: A propos ecology: Hurricane Ike vanished from news right after landfall as if it had been just bad weather. Yet measured in monetary costs, Ike's damage is the worst after Andrew 1992 and Katrina 2005. Ike 2008 is number three, moneywise -- but one would have never guessed tracking US news.
PPS: And remember -- four servings of meat per week is max.
Bioneers Conference, Revolution from the Heart of Nature, 17-19 October 2008, San Rafael, California
Radboud University, Nijmegen, announces the Freude am Fluss conference "Space for the River, Space for People; Dilemmas and Directions in Multifunctional River Planning and Management, Nijmegen, Holland, 22-24 October 2008. (go here for registration)
Florida Gulf Coast University's Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education, together with the departments of language & literature, and communication & philosophy, are hosting a conference on Humanities and Sustainability, in Ft Myers, Florida, 8-9 May 2009.
BEST QUOTE (tie)
"The roots of the problem of climate change are essentially cultural. The solution must be too."
Marcel Cano (U Barcelona), Climate Symposium, SHE Conference, University of Western Washington, Bellingham, WA, Sept 2008
"Now we have the wind on our backs. And when you have wind in your sails, you sail. Let's sail towards a new economic model, one that respects both nature and humanity, instead of this one that destroys them."
Pavan Sukhdev, author of Economics of Ecosystems and Sustainability, at IUCN Congress, Barcelona, Oct 2008 (read more)
U Surrey: food climate research network
dandelife: the story of global warming
B McKibben: 350 ppm
... See also: 350 friends and allies
... tropical species in climate trouble 10.9.
... hurricane Ike's environmental toll 10.5.
... US tries to censor news of Ike's human toll 10.3.
... Mediterranean seas turn acidic 10.5.
... Algeria floods in desert 10.2.
... hurricane Kyle hits Canada 9.29.
... Florida Everglades continue to decline 9.29.
... Maine coast under tropical storm warning 9.27.
... Alicante: 40 litros de agua por m2 en apenas media hora 9.24.
... the methane timebomb 9.23.
... Greenland ice melts faster than expected 9.23.
... polar bears resort to cannibalism 9.23.
... Indian monsoon kills 119 in 3 days 9.22.
... Atlanta gas shortage due to Ike and Gustav 9.22.
... Kwa Zulu Natal surprise snowfall 9.21.
... zum zweiten Mal extrem wenig Polareis 9.19.
... US jobless rise due to hurricane Gustav 9.18.
... EU climate plan watered down 10.3.
... Western Climate Initiative announced 9.24.
... Portugal switches on 'wave snakes' 9.24.
... Chicago climate strategy 9.19.
... Alaska's amazing coast erosion (at dot earth)
... No Words: the 350 ppm animation (at 350.org)
... Oil at $ 77 10.10
... M Morford: planet Obama 10.8.
... US debt clock runs out of numbers 10.8.
... Oil at $ 87 10.8.
... F Norris: live blogging amid panic 10.6.
... 25 percent of mammals risk now extinction 10.5.
... US state rail projects boost by less driving 9.30.
... global climate need for rationing meat, milk 9.30.
... US worst single-day stock drop since 1987 9.29.
... America's fall from power 9.28.
... US gas shortages in the south 9.26.
... world food shortage crisis creeping up 9.26.
... greenhouse gas pollution up despite economic downturn 9.26.
... CO2 Ausstoss steigt immer rasanter an 9.26.
... Pakistani frontier turns into war zone 10.3.
... Pakistani and US troops exchange fire 9.25.
... Pakistani outrage against the US 9.25.
... US Chevy dealers packing it in 9.24.
... Bush: no apology, no regrets 9.24.
... Gore urges resistance to new coal plants 9.24.
... UK gov calls climate deniers "deluded" 9.23
... UK cost of bread, butter up 43% since 2007 9.23.
... global hunt for climate-proof crops begins 9.23.
... world oil supply crisis approaches 9.22.
... Bush confesses to economic ignorance 9.21.
... economic crisis threatens EU climate plan 9.21.
... how we became the United States of France 9.20.
... fingerpointing directed at Bush 9.19.
... planet running out of clean water 9.19.
... Oil at $ 104 9.19.
... France worries about US 'toxic waste' 9.19.
... K Trueman: the climate meltdown 10.6.
... new atmospheric CO2 capture tool via NaOH (U Calgary; see Stolaroff et al in "Climatology" below)
... Congress for the New Urbanism transport summit (info)
... UN FAO: we need to rethink biofuels 10.7.
... P Crutzen: economic woes give planet a breather 10.7.
... R Scheer: plague on the White House/the banality of Evil 10.7.
... Nobel 2008 peace 10.10.
... Nobel 2008 literature 10.9.
... Nobel 2008 chemistry 10.8.
... Nobel 2008 physics 10.7.
... Nobel 2008 medicine 10.6.
... Nobel literature chief: US writing too 'insular' 9.30.
... C Hedges: the bailout betrayal 10.6.
... P Krugman: healthcare destruction 10.5.
... T. Van Deusen: Ike, the silent storm 10.3.
... D Jackson: Palon cold on climate warming 10.3.
... G. Keillor: where were the cops? 9.25.
... M Morford: 700 billion fluffy nothings 9.24.
... J Kunstler: all fall down 10.6.
... J Kunstler: falling into fall 9.22.
... Pleistocene park: rewilding Europe 9.22.
... P Krugman: cash for trash 9.21.
... E Margolis: US orgy of debt 9.21.
... D Schechter: our financial 9-11 9.21.
... US cities want less parking 9.20.
... K Philipps: bad money 9.19.
... how ExxonMobil manufactures uncertainty on climate (UCS)
... subsidies for US car industry 10.7.
... Real Climate: Palin on global warming 10.5.
... global CO2 emissions speed up beyond IPCC predictions 9.28.
... Palin (R) claims dinosaurs and humans coexisted 9.28.
... US dazed administration 9.19.
OLDIES BUT GOODIES
Harper's Magazine (vol. 316, no. 1896, p. 43-47) published "Numbers Racket: why the economy is worse than we know" by Kevin Philipps last May (p. 47):
The real numbers, to most economically minded Americans, would be a face full of cold water. Based on the criteria in place a quarter century ago [criteria since then progressively deconstructed], today's US unemployment rate is somewhere between 9 percent and 12 percent; the inflation rate is as high as 7 or even 10 percent; economic growth since the recession of 2001 has been mediocre, despite a huge surge in the wealth and income of the superrich, and we are falling back into recession. If what we have been sold in recent years has been delusional "Pollyanna Creep," what we really need today is a picture of our economy ex-distortion. For what it would reveal is a nation in deep difficulty not just domestically but globally.CLIMATOLOGY
... Taiwan, Kenting Park: corals are fine despite all odds 10.6.
... British rivers may dry up by 2050 10.5.
... A Revkin: climate and spotless sun 10.3.
... Global Carbon Project, carbon budget and trends 2007, 9.26.
... climate change dulls fall foliage 9.24.
... Food Climate Research Network (U Surrey): cooking up a storm--food, greenhouse gas emissions, and our changing climate (Oct 08), summary (pdf), report (long pdf)
... E Kintisch, "Impacts research seen as next climate frontier," Science 322:182-183
... J Schipper, "The status of the world's land and marine mamals" Science 322: 225
... J. Stolaroff, "CO2 capture from air using sodium hydroxide" Enviro Sci Technol 42 (2008): 2728-2735
... B. Juncosa, "Climate change, new and bigger dead zones," Scientific American (Oct 2008)
... D. Biello, "CO2 auction launches US effort to combat climate change," Scientific American 9.26.
... E Gertz, "Can offshore drilling really make the US oil independent?" Scientific American 9.12.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Possibly more significant than the good climate news from Africa are the bad climate news, from America, of the McCain/Palin ticket. McCain and Palin have made their doubts about climate change and their desire for fossil fuel exploration clear. Palin, a creationist wed to an oil corp spouse, wants to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling and denies climatology data. Now, if one rejects one science, evolutionary biology, one might as well reject another.
Palin embodies the cognitive distortion that informs the American Disenlightenment. Her agenda reflects what I call the Gringo Square. She manages to integrate into her political persona the four corners of Adam Smith, David Hume, Ayn Rand, & the red-eyed Baby Jesus. She fights for the total free market, doubts climate forcing, enacts a policy of selfishness, and favors creationism. What I drew, in 2007, as a conceptual cartoon, is now in 2008 acquiring political reality. If Palin wins, the awful specter of a planetary climate shift that is not only anthropogenic but also and crucially Amerigenic will solidify.
Three things happened in the past month, or, this just in:
The decade 1997-2006 was found to be the warmest in 1,300-1,700 years.
Sea levels are now conservatively expected (read: assuming no runaway events) to rise 80-200 cm/2.5-6 ft. by 2100.
Arctic sea ice has passed its summer minimum and was in 2008 at its the second lowest extent; overall, the polar cap has shrunk by a third since 1979, and the Northwest Passage opened in August, as it did in the year of records 2007. For details, please scroll to "climatology" below.
Edward Gonzalez-Gaudiano forwarded this from Bob Jickling and Lucie Sauvé: We warmly invite you to submit your abstract to the 5th World Environmental Education Congress to be held at the Palais des Congrès in Montreal from May 10 to 14, 2009. The 5th World Congress will draw a large attendance, potentially becoming one of the field's most significant gatherings on environmental education. The mobilization of support behind the organization of this Congress is further evidence of the tremendous enthusiasm at play. Your proposal must be submitted online. Detailed instructions are available at the Congress site: under "Call for Papers." Submission deadline is September 30, 2008. We encourage you to submit your proposal as soon as possible. For more information on the Congress or your trip to Montreal, please visit the Congress site. Further details will be added to the site in the coming months. We look forward to seeing you in Montreal!
BEST QUOTE (tie)
"Learning from the rest is no longer a matter of morality or politics. Increasingly, it is about competitiveness."
Fareed Zakaria, "How America can survive the rise of the rest," Foreign Affairs May/June 2008 (p. 7)
"No better illustration exists of a culture where private gain has eclipsed the public good, public service, even public decency, and where the cult of the individual has caused the commonwealth to wither. That's the culture we've lived with. It's over now. Some new American beginning is needed."
Roger Cohen, "The king is dead," International Herald Tribune 17 Sep 08 (p.1)
Chris Carlsson, "Building an anti-economy," Orion Sept/Oct 2008
... arctic ice no new record; now one third below normal 9.16.
... Texas effects of hurricane Ike 9.16.
... Ohio might lose its buckeye trees 9.12.
... Caribbean effects of hurricane Ike 9.7.
... Haiti deaths of storm Hanna 9.6.
... Ellesmere ice sheet breaks off 9.3.
... Indian and Nepali flood effects 9.2.
... India suffers worst flood in 50 years 8.30.
... Siberian methane leaks in permafrost thaw 8.30.
... arctic ice melts faster than ever 8.28.
... arctic ice drops to 2nd lowest level 8.27.
... India effects of weirdo monsoon 8.24.
... Florida effects of storm Fay 8.24.
... Greenland new cracks in ice 8.21.
... Greenland glaciers still disintegrating 8.21.
... Greenland glaciers going, going ... 8.20.
... UN says less meat better for climate 9.7.
... US McCain/Palin on climate 9.3.
... London climate strategies 9.30.
... Canada tightens arctic grip 8.28.
... Hamburg climate strategies 8.28.
... UN Accra climate talks succeed 8.27.
... South Korea climate strategies 8.25.
... UN Accra climate talks update I 8.22.
... Russia threatens to seize part of Arctic 9.18.
... 350 ppm CO2 viable maximum (2008 385 ppm) 9.16.
... Oil drops to $ 91 9.16.
... UK jury decides climate threat justifies breaking law 9.11.
... Switzerland: glacier melt yields stoneage info 9.5.
... UK climate activists defended for sabotage 9.4.
... Oil back down at nearly $ 100 9.2.
... Bush says hurricane Gustav reminder to drill for Oil 9.2.
... US lags behind the new global bicycle boom 8.31.
... Australia commercializes water 8.31.
... worldwide fireflies are vanishing 8.30.
... Amazon deforestation up 69% from Aug 07 to Aug 08 8.30.
... German eco-wander by an American 8.29.
... internet traffic begins to bypass the US 8.29.
... Italy meeting on risks to Earth 8.24.
... America in the world, silenced by Bush 8.21.
... Europe's clean tech 100 list 9.18.
... R Cohen: the king is dead 9.17.
... I Bell: a letter to America--you cannot be serious 9.14.
... NYT editorial: the anti-climate candidate 9.7.
... C Carlsson: building an anti-economy 9.6.
... J Dolan: the anti-climate VP candidate 9.5.
... Americans without television 9.4.
... T Friedman: the anti-climate party 9.2.
... the Kilkenny letter on Palin's policy record 9.1.
... German NGO foodwatch site
... D Lindorff: USA, the land of the silent 8.27.
... Japan's Honda makes most efficient cars 8.25.
... J Kunstler: the party that wrecked America 8.25.
... US House approves of offshore drilling 9.17.
... Florida without hurricane protection system 9.7.
... US: crackdown on journalists at Republican convention 9.5.
... US: the Wasilla Assembly of God 9.2.
... US: wind/solar energy in US built on temporary tax breaks 8.31.
... US natural gas boom 8.25.
... Climate 2008/Klima 2008 conference in Hamburg 11.3-7
see also UN FAO climate events
... linear sea level rise estimate 80-200 cm until 2100
cf. W. Pfeiffer et al., "Sea-level rise" Science 321:1340-1343
see also Realclimate 9.4. blog post "how much?"
... positive feedback: more heat = less CO2 uptake 9.17.
... Arctic ice summer minimum reached 9.16.
cf. W. Chapman Polar Research Group U Illinois Urbana-Champaign
see also Dot Earth 9.17. blog post "misses last year's mark"
see also Colose 9.18. blog post "second-lowest"
... 1997-2006 warmest decade in past 1,300-1,700 years 9.7.
cf M. Mann et al., "Reconstructions" PNAS 105: 13252-13257
see also Tamino 9.7. blog post "brand new hockey sticks"
see also Nature 455 9.10. highlights "hockey stick holds up"
... warming oceans "are the engine driving stronger hurricanes" 9.4.
cf J. Elsner et al., "Intensity" Nature 455: 10.1038/nature07234
... Asian soot, smog may boost global warming in US 9.4.
cf H. Levy et al., "Aerosols" NOAA CCSP 2008 3.2.
... federal prognosis of climate effects on Germany until 2100 9.2.
cf D. Jacobi et al., "Klimaauswirkungen," Umweltbundesamt 11/08
... climate threats of Nitrogen 9.2.
cf B. Houlton et al., "Unifying framework" Nature 454: 327-330
... Oekolandbau kein Klimaretter 8.25.
cf J. Hirschfeld et al., "Klimawirkung," IOW 186/08 (pdf)
... UK's coastal hotspots at risk now 8.24
cf P. Dyke, "UK top 10 coastal hotspots," National Trust 8/2008
... global warming time bomb trapped in arctic soil 8.24.
cf C. Ping et al., "Soil organic C" Nature Geoscience 1: 615-619
... West Africa's coastline to be redrawn 8.22.
see also Accra Climate Change Talks 21-27 Aug 2008