Friday, February 27, 2009

climate review February

-- updated, revised 3/4, 3/6 --

February 2009 was encouraging, inspiring, in a bracing sort of way. Obama acts as a Confucian gentleman. He responds to knowledge. He cherishes friends from distant places. He doesn't repay scorn with violence. And as Mencius counsels, he heeds the people.

That cat can dance.

This month's climate review suggests that information clarifies. Boundary conditions are now emerging. For remaining within the limits of a temperature rise of 2 C (bad, but acceptable), it appears we have 93 months left. This is the green revolution timeframe. Beyond this timeline opportunity looms dieback. The way the dieback would unfold has become clearer, too. Policywise, February showed a big change for the better. What follows are first some thoughts, next some quotes, and then the regular link list of climate events, climate policy items, mitigation attempts, and climatology news.

Thanks, as always, for your input -- keep it coming!


-- Risky --

So far, it appears the new administration has made all the right moves -- but also a mistake. Obama continues Bush policies. Bush reminds me of Hitler: everything he touches he ruins. Bush, like Hitler, freely started wars with no exit strategy ("kill 'em all" won't do). By sending more troops to Afghanistan, Obama makes Bush's war into his own. Furthermore, Bush, like Hitler, rewarded cronies with booty and transferred wealth from the little people to those in power. And when those in power messed up and the people got hurt, the wealth transfer worsened: the first bailout last fall. By sending a second bailout after the first, without changing the rules much, Obama follows Bush. Over war and bailout, Obama follows a loser.

-- Answers --

Of course the system is collapsing, as unsustainable structures must. Answers, to the question of what to do, stay unchanged. Excellent survival is hippie evolution. A post-consumerist world is our chance. The post-collapse economy will not be based on growth. We will use more Nash than Marx or Smith. Think Star Trek communism with a free market in the green sector.

-- Questions --

Now that the planet is turning hot and dry, and the seas lose their abundance, and the lands lose their fertility, what shall be done with those Americans who've cheated the world's youth out of resources? When will Bush, the climate-changer-in-chief, be brought to justice? What shall be done with the Republican architects of collapse--when will American Denazification begin? And locally, I ask: when will solar, wind, & trains be allowed at the Sun Coast? When will USF Professor Sami Al-Arian, still innocent, still in jail, be rehabilitated?


Alligators basking off the English coast; a vast Brazilian desert; the mythical lost cities of Saigon, New Orleans, Venice, and Mumbai; and 90 percent of humanity vanished. Welcome to the world warmed by 4 C.

G Vince how to survive the coming century New Scientist 2-25

In the face of the impending crisis, people often ask what they can do to protect themselves. 'Buy gold? Stockpile canned goods? Build a fortified compound in a remote area? What should I do?' I would like to suggest a different kind of question: 'What is the most beautiful thing I can do?'

C Eisenstein money & the crisis of civilization RealitySandwich 2-23

Among other things, contraction means that all the activities of everyday life need to be downscaled including standards of living, ranges of commerce, and levels of governance ... The wealth of several future generations has already been spent and there is no equity left there to re-finance.

Jim Kunstler the abyss stares back Clusterfuck Nation 2-23

Owners of capital will stimulate the working class to buy more and more expensive goods, houses and technology, pushing them to take more and more expensive credits, until their debt becomes unbearable. The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks, which will have to be nationalized, and the State will have to take the road which will eventually lead to communism.

Karl Marx, thanks to D Schechter, who will rescue us as economy remains in free fall? common dreams 3-2

President Obama, this is your moment. This is your time to beat Buicks into bullet trains, Suburbans into subways, and Hummers into hybrid buses.

Derrick Z Jackson pull the plug on US automakers Boston Globe 2-21

We head off down Panchsheel Marg, one of New Delhi’s main streets. The ladies want to show me something. The U.S. Embassy and the Chinese Embassy are both located on Panchsheel, directly across from each other. They asked me to check out the rooftops of each embassy. What do I notice? Let’s see ... The U.S. Embassy’s roof is loaded with antennae and listening gear. The Chinese Embassy’s roof is loaded with ... new Chinese-made solar hot-water heaters.
You couldn’t make this up.

Tom Friedman yes they could. so they did New York Times 2-15

Admittedly, Nome is a long way from Australia, but last summer my wife and i saw there a number of moored, well-rigged but unexceptional yachts that had come through the Northwest Passage. That is, they had made without drama a journey that defeated Cook in the 18th century and killed Sir John Franklin and all his expedition in the 19th century.

T Keneally after the inferno Guardian 2-20

The effects we're seeing now are largely the results of gases pumped into the air during the Kennedy administration.

Stephan Faris, Forecast New York: Henry Holt 2009, p.222


Alabama blanketed by rare snow 2.28.
California declares drought emergency 2.27.
Spain loses 90 percent of its glaciers 2.23.
Australia worst fires on record 2-12
North American birds alter migrations 2-10
Britain gets one month's rainfall in one day 2-10
US cold January was actually warm 2-10
NOAA January US temperatures 2.9.
China declares emergency: worst drought in fifty years 2-5
Chicago coldest temps in ten years 2-4
Kentucky deadly ice storm 2-2
World heads for 'water bankruptcy' 1-30


California mulls water rationing 2.27.
Washington climate protest planned 2.26.
NYC Times Square to be turned into pedestrian mall 2.26.
US explosive growth of climate change lobby 2.25.
Chicago launches climate initiative 2.24.
Florida dying Everglades restoration in jeopardy 2.24.
Obama's address to congress (text) 2.24.
Australia: charged for toilet flushing -- rational water tax 2.16.
UN, EU: US 'sea change' on climate talks 2.13.


global general strike March 13-19 info
ASEAN leaders urged to discuss climate change 2.27.
US/UK blamed for rapid increase in China's CO2 2.23.
US universities advise to avoid spring breaks in Mexico 2.23.
Latvia government collapses 2.20.
stock decline hits depression levels 2.17.
US living standard changes permanently 2.17.
Ireland might be next 2.16.
International jurists bewail damage done by US war on terror 2.16.
is America ready to quit coal? 2.14.
US fed obligations exceed world GDP 2.13.
Dubai spirals down 2.12.
Iraq prez declares end of US dominance 2.10.
US actual unemployment 14 percent 2.6.
Florida from boom to bread lines 2.8.
Krygyzstan closes US military base 2.6.
US anti-torture activists sentenced to US prison (Spanish) 1.30.
Europe's welfare system a model for the 21st century 1.27.


Boston airport parking carbon fee proposed 3.2.
new outlook in US raises hopes on climate treaty 3.1.
NASA's chief climatologist calls for civil disobedience 2.27.
France builds nuclear power plants for Italy (German) 2.24.
Japan utilities may buy domestic solar power at twice the price 2.24.
California cuts off water to farms 2.20.
China Chery Automobile Co. launches hybrid 2.20.
World Bank steps up climate fight in Latin America 2.17.
wind turbines on household roofs 2.15.
Center for Biodiversity declares legal war on climate change 2.13.
to slow climate change, tax carbon 2.13.
California solar firm announces big contract 2.12.
Oil industry ready to work on global warming 2.12.
US ethanol is struggling 2.11.
... compare: Cohen: bring on the right biofuels '08
... contrast: Monbiot: biofuels do more harm than good '09
UK mulls rationing air travel 2.9.
US renewable energy grid expenses 2.8.
Obama reverses Bush pollution policies 2.6.
Sweden turns to nuclear energy 2.5.


Truth Commission for the Bush era? 3.2.
America's stupid health care debate 3.1.
Total says oil output near peak 2.15.
Truth Commission to investigate Bush/Cheney abuses? 2.12.
Latin American panel calls US drug war a failure 2.12.
call for Bush Administration trials 2.3.
smallest house in the world '08


George F. Will


how to survive the coming century 2.25.
... link to interactive map 4 C warmer (be patient, slow upload)
Risks of global warming have been underestimated 2.24.
Arctic summers predicted to be ice-free by 2013 2.21.
Andean glaciers 'could disappear': World Bank 2.18.
positive loop: melt-pools accelerate Arctic ice loss 2.18.
UN: food production may fall 25 percent by 2050 2.17.
South American glaciers gone by 2030? 2.17.
a world without water 2.16.
climate change worst-case scenarios: not worst enough 2.14.
Gore: level of climate change 'without precedent' 2.14.
IPCC: climate change likely to be more devastating as thought 2.14.
IPCC: climate change even worse than predicted 2.14.
five top myths about 'clean' (sic) coal 2.14.
UK should prepare for massive loss of landmass 2.12.
new climatology-ecology synergies 2.6.
climate change could wipe out California farming 2.5.
icemelt could shift Earth's rotation 2.5.

The perspicacious surfer may have noticed that no peer-reviewed links appear this month. Indeed. Starting next month, I will post technical stuff in periodic updates on the climate blistered data bank, at least as long the klimasofia site is not yet up & running.

Ninety-three months left ... clock's ticking.

Monday, February 02, 2009

climate review January (B)

January 2009 was a mind-blowing month. There's a chance that great wrongs will be set right. Yet, after all the good people celebrated the inauguration, I found myself choked up with anger. As I first emailed Scott Schneider, part of me had been hoping, until January 19, for at least a tiny sign that Bush, the climate-changer-in-chief, would be impeached. But it never happened. No impeachment for torture? For a concentration camp? For special rendition? For black sites? For suspending habeas corpus? For invading two sovereign nations? For more than a million deaths in Iraq alone? For all this fishiness with 9-11? For flying Bin Laden relatives out of the country and out of reach of the FBI after 9-11, from Tampa no less, when all other flights were grounded? For wasting a decade, and all the tax money, on worsening fossil addictions instead of investing in a post-carbon future? For sabotaging the worldwide fight against climate change? Nope, none of this merits impeachment. And the other guy had been nearly impeached for lying about oral sex?

I salute those of my colleagues who boldly opposed the American Disenlightenment in the past eight years. I am proud that you insisted on human universals. I am proud that you argued for environmental constants. I am proud that you defended, in your classes and works, the idea of progress. Kudos to your wisdom!

Those other colleagues, though, who, during the Rule of Unreason, preferred to deconstruct truth, justice, humanism, and progress, and who indulged in skepticism, relativism, and ambiguities instead, I can only say, with Bush you had the Postmodern Government you deserved. Bush grew on your intellectual soil. You must be proud.

In the US, the political problem now is what to do with the Bushists. The risk is to repeat Clinton's mistake. The Clinton administration 1992 failed to prosecute the Republicans responsible for the Nicaraguan war and the Iran-Contra affair. Thus, in 2001, the same camarilla returned to power. Crimes against humanity, boundless corruption, and the Great American Crash have been the result. Just like Germany after Hitler, the US after Bush needs Denazification. For the sake of justice, the US must conduct new Nuremberg Trials.

Climatewise, at least, Americans are joining in with the planetary enlightenment. It's about frigging time.


"People generally think that President Bush's greatest mistake was the invasion of Iraq. But to the international community, the greatest error of Bush's eight years was his inattention to climate change - the gravest threat to mankind's existence - impeding the international community's efforts to control CO2 emissions, achieve consensus, and lead the way toward solutions. Because of the American government, the world lost eight precious years."

Pei Minyan, "Bush's Foreign Legacy," Caijing 1.24. (China; here)


RIP Arne Naess (1912-2009) 1.12. (U Oslo) (AP)

The University of Central Florida hosted a terrific conference on Evolution, the Environment, and Responsible Knowledge; the third in its annual Information Fluency meetings. It had good vibes, was a smooth success, and I learned a lot. I'm grateful for the invitation. Climate change was the predictable gravity-well of many talks on information fluency now.


the last holdouts in 2009: 53 percent of corporate petroleum geologists and 36 percent of U.S. meteorologists dismiss anthropogenic climate change.


Bush cries.


UK: record snow 2.2.
Australia: record-breaking heat 1.30.
Oceans: acidity rising 1.30.
California: historic drought 1.29.
France/Spain: deadly storms 1.24.
Greenland: Galloping glaciers slow down 1.23.
US: accelerated waldsterben 1.23.
US Northwest: confused pelican migration 1.23.
Bangladesh: coping with climate change 1.22.
North America: waldsterben speed doubles 1.22.
North America: waldsterben & global warming 1.22.
Antarctica: new evidence on warming 1.21.
US Northeast record cold wave 1.14.
US Midwest record cold wave I 1.13.
US Midwest record cold wave II 1.13.
Sea of Japan absorbs less CO2 1.12.


NATO security risks through arctic thaw 1.29.
White House lost its solar panels 1.27.
Obama blocks Bush's midnight rules 1.23.
Obama reverses Bush's Mexico City policy 1.22.
Bush, a look back: anti-enviro timeline 1.16.
Rep Waxman (D-Calif) promises quick climate action 1.15.
Wisconsin Madison climate ordinances 1.14. (pdf)
arctic policy adjusts to ice retreat 1.13.
climate czar Carol Browner 1.12.
B McKibben et al. greening the stimulus 1.14.


Latin America: jungles grow, rainforest debate 1.30.
Texas plans more wind energy 1.29.
US: lawsuit filed in carbon trading scheme 1.29.
EU: flagship fusion reactor doubles in cost 1.29.
Ethanolsprit aus Brasilien: Blut im Tank 1.23.
Cooling crops 1.22.
Biofuels: an open letter on its problems 1.20.
prices plummet on carbon market 1.20.
environmental utopia in Abu Dhabi 1.19.
fish 'an ally' against climate change 1.16.
Europe in continuing gas crisis 1.15.
Germany/South Africa: "climate fix" iron-dumping ship stopped 1.14.
EU plasma screen TVs will probably be banned 1.12.
electric auto fleet a step closer 1.12.
new Honda Hybrid 1.11.


Chris Hedges: it's not going to be OK. 2.2.
US/UK: 25 people at the heart of global meltdown 1.26.
Japan launches greenhouse gas satellite 1.23.
30 % Americans rate climate as priority 1.22.
Asian economic data worse than expected 1.22.
UK national bankruptcy possible 1.21.
California home prices fall 38 percent in 2008 1.21.
US losses may reach $ 3.6 trillion 1.21.
palm oil demand kills orang utans 1.19.
editorials worldwide pillory Bush 1.19.
Bushs klammheimliches Vermaechtnis 1.18.
2008: the year of the food crisis 1.18.
Climate change to stifle developing nations 1.17.
China xinhua: blame America 1.16.
The Economist: the Bush legacy 1.15.
Toronto Star: goodbye to worst president ever 1.15.
Oil at $ 34 1.15.
US foreclosure filings up 81% 1.15.
USA's second concentration camp 1.13.
EU Russia broken gas promises 1.13.
US deficit new records in just three months 1.13.
US Bush Economy 2001-2008 weakest in decades 1.12.
California net loss 144,000 economic migrants 1.12.
US: drastic times 1.8.


Iceland: first openly gay PM 1.31.
NYT Editorial: the next step on warming 1.30.
M Klare: repudiate the Carter doctrine 1.23.
B Cesca: Obama's rejection of American cowardice 1.21.
G Monbiot: consider monetary strategy of 1920s Bavaria 1.20.


Lovelock interview: last chance New Scientist 1.23.
J Lovelock -- comments to interview on boingboing 1.23.
phase changes of the annual surface temps cycle Nature
2008 a record year Nature Reports Climate Change
African CO emissions 2000-06 Biogeosciences
climate sensitivity, carbon cycle, ocean chemistry Nat Geoscience
debate over rainforest fate -- with a climate twist Science
Earth's degassing--a missing ethane and propane source Science
western US forests suffer death by degrees Science
the many dangers of greenhouse acid AGU
shifting North Atlantic carbon sink Nature Reports CC
successful sim of two real tropical cyclones GRL
14% of global warming 1956-2002 due to solar activity ERL
sudden reduction in CO2 uptake in Japan sea GRL
climate change could choke oceans for 100,000 yrs Wired
devastated forests replantable from air New Scientist

good luck to everybody!