Episode 10: Show Notes

On this week’s show: The US Senate surrender, denynig the undeniable, deniers turn on each other, more blacklist hypocrisy, where has all the phytoplankton gone?, happy 35th birthday global warming, and the skeptic debunk of the week.
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US senate surrender

Democrats Abandon Sweeping Energy Plan

After a meeting of Senate Democrats, party leaders on Thursday said they had abandoned hope of passing a comprehensive energy bill this summer and would pursue a more limited measure focused on responding to the gulf oil spill and tightening  energy efficiency standards.

What sank the Senate’s climate bill

But the real answer is simpler: Too many senators have little, if any, incentives to pass climate policy that’s rational in the long term and good for the country as a whole. Also to blame is President Obama’s policy agenda, which prioritized health care.

James Hansen’s take

The climate bill collapse is a great opportunity.  Environmentalists who thought they could somehow outmuscle the fossil fuel industry in backroom deals with politicians should reassess their position.  It is as sure as the law of gravity: as long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy they will reign supreme.  The only solution is a rising price on carbon (a “cap” is not a price), collected from the fossil fuel companies, with the proceeds distributed to the public (not given by Congress to their favorite charity: fossil fuels, solar panels, etc.).  This is needed for stimulating the economy, reinvigorating American innovation, creating jobs, and solving our fossil fuel addiction.  It (fee-and-dividend or fee-and-green-check) is the only suggestion that solves the fossil fuel/climate problems.  Proposed legislation, including CLEAR, lock in fossil fuel dependence for as far as we can see into the future.

NOAA State of the climate Report

State of the Climate in 2009,  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring at the UK Met Office:

The whole of the climate system is acting in a way consistent with the effects of greenhouse gases. The fingerprints are clear. The glaringly obvious explanation for this is warming from greenhouse gases.

Senator Inhofe Erroneously Claims We Are In A Nine-Year Cooling Trend

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said, “I don’t think that anyone disagrees with the fact that we actually are in a cold period that started about nine years ago.”

Cold period? Not quite. “In fact, climate scientists disagree with Senator Inhofe’s statement,” said Brenda Ekwurzel, a climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

According to NASA, the past 10 year average was the hottest on record, Ekwurzel pointed out. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, meanwhile, concluded that the first six months of this year are the hottest on record globally. Scientists project that 2010 is on track to be the hottest year on record, unless Pacific ocean conditions drive down surface temperatures.

New study lays out 11 indicators of a warming world, media focuses on contrarian views –ThingsBreak

The release of this report represented a huge opportunity for CNN and The Financial Times to explore the signs of a warming world in detail… And who knows- perhaps they eventually will. For now, however, “most trusted name in news” is continuing to grossly mislead its audience because it simply can’t give up the outmoded narrative crutch of “balance”.

Deniers turn on each other

Eating their own

Dr Roy Spencer, normally a darling of the septics, is getting the full denialist savaging over at his own blog for daring to defend the physical basis for the greenhouse effect.

More blacklist hypocrisy

Denier hypocrisy, turning a white-list black

It was absolutely hypocritical for deniers to call the Expert credibility in climate change paper published in PNAS a blacklist. Deniers have been making lists of scientists who reject the consensus for a long time. It is one of their main debating tricks. But when someone takes the trouble to analyse the expertise and prominence of the names on the list cries of blacklist can be heard from all corners of the denialosphere .

This is pure hypocrisy.

And the absolutely hilarious blog Denial Depot has noticed:

Several Eminent Physicists Skeptical Of AGW fear for their academic lives tonight as WhatsUpWithit irresponsibly publishes their names on a public blog: Seven Eminent Physicists Skeptical of AGW

Questions are being asked as to why WhatsUpWithIt, previously a reliable campaigner against blacklisting skeptical scientists, has today published a blacklist of our secret eminent physicists.

Concerns mount that WhatsUpWithIt has been infiltrated by enemies of our Nation. Has WhatsUpWithIt fallen to Red Communism?

Related Climate News Items:

Anthony Watts (who runs the notoriously inaccurate Watts up with that blog) was one of those decrying the PNAS paper as a blacklist. Not only that but he invoked Godwin’s Law, and made disgusting references to the holocaust. But now he willingly publishes a ‘blacklist’ of his own?

He will probably use the same absurd logic used by both Morano, and Luboš Motl, who claim that the lists compiled by deniers are positive because… well they don’t really give a reason, at least not one that amounts to anything other than ‘they are positive because they were created by deniers’.

So according to denialism logic, taking names from these positive white-lists (remember the data from the PNAS study all comes from these lists), not naming names and doing aggregate analysis on their publication record somehow turns the list black.

Hypocrisy indeed!

Where has all the phytoplankton gone?

Scientists may have found the most devastating impact yet of human-caused global warming — a 40% decline in phytoplankton since 1950 linked to the rise in ocean sea surface temperatures.  If confirmed, it may represent the single most important finding of the year in climate science.

The headlines above are from an appropriately blunt article in The Independent about the new study in Nature, “Global phytoplankton decline over the past century” (subs. req’d).  Even theWall Street Journal warned, “Vital Marine Plants in Steep Decline.”  Seth Borenstein of the AP explains, “plant plankton found in the world’s oceans  are crucial to much of life on Earth. They are the foundation of the bountiful marine food web, produce half the world’s oxygen and suck up harmful carbon dioxide.”

Global warming turn 35

Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?

If man-made dust is unimportant as a major cause of climatic change, then a strong case can be made that the present cooling trend will, within a decade or so, give way to a pronounced warming induced by carbon dioxide. By analogy with similar events in the past, the natural climatic cooling which, since 1940, has more than compensated for the carbon dioxide effect, will soon bottom out. Once this happens, the exponential rise in the atmospheric carbon dioxide content will tend to become a significant factor and by early in the next century will have driven the mean planetary temperature beyond the limits experienced during the last 1000 years.

The Skeptic Debunk of the week

Warming since 1995 by John Cook

When you read Phil Jones’ actual words, you see he’s saying there is a warming trend but it’s not statistically significant. He’s not talking about whether warming is actually happening. He’s discussing our ability to detect that warming trend in a noisy signal over a short period.

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