It is a well-known fact that the unconventional gas industry is involved in an inherently toxic business, particularly through hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), which the EPA just confirmed has contaminated groundwater in Wyoming. The documentary film “Gasland,” DeSmogBlog's report “Fracking the Future: How Unconventional Gas Threatens our Water, Health, and Climate,” and numerous other investigations, reports, and scientific studies have echoed the myriad problems with unconventional oil and gas around the globe.
If the jury was still out on President Barack Obama's climate policy accolades (a huge “if”), consider the verdict now in, and from a surprising character at that: Marc Morano.
They [the Obama administration] have kept the exact same principles and negotiating stance as President George Bush did for eight years. Obama has carried on Bush’s legacy. So as skeptics, we tip our hat to President Obama in helping to crush and continuing to defeat the United Nations process. Obama has been a great friend of global warming skeptics at these conferences.
U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres warned militaries this month that they should be spending more money to reduce carbon emissions. According to her, one of the biggest threats to nations right now is global warming.
President Obama recently asked Congress for $671 billion for the Department of Defense’s budget for fiscal 2012. The proposed budget (although currently facing cuts) allotted billions of dollars to fund wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and billions more were requested for procurement; research, development, test and evaluation; operations and maintenance; military construction; personnel; family housing; and revolving management funds. While the Department of Defense has recently focused some attention on global warming, it’s time they start focusing a lot more.
Christiana Figueres’s biggest concern is that a growing food crisis, water stress, and weather damage will result in an international migration, regional conflicts, and ultimately a “climate chaos that would demand a defense response that makes even today’s spending burden look light.” Instead of investing in more weaponry, Figueres urges generals to invest in reducing carbon emissions.
The New York Times deserves praise for its excellent editorial on Sunday, “A Climate Change Corrective,” which rightly confirms that the “Climategate” non-scandal has been thoroughly investigated and revealed as a political attack on scientists, not the grand United Nations conspiracy concocted by industry front groups and the right wing echo chamber.
Five separate reviews have found no evidence whatsoever to back up the outrageous claims made by skeptics and deniers that the state of climate science has in any way been weakened by the theft and public airing of years’ worth of emails and documents from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit last winter.
The Times’ editorial correctly calls on all the media outlets that amplified the bogus conspiracy theories from the Climategate noise machine to return to the subject and set the record straight for their viewers. Far too much ink and airtime was spent on inflating the mythical Climategate conspiracy, and ever since there has been hardly any effort made to explain this episode accurately – as a baseless political attack on climate science. It is imperative that all the outlets that fell into this trap and perpetuated the Climategate nonsense now spend the time necessary to ensure that their audiences know the truth.
The Times editorial expresses hope that the “debunking of Climategate, will receive as much circulation as the original, diversionary controversies.”
Aside from the difficulty associated with correcting a lie once it has circulated this widely, editors at media outlets who lent credence to the Climategate myth must do some deep soul-searching to figure out why none of their reports initially probed the real conspiracy in this matter – the coordinated, political attack on climate scientists ginned up by a network of climate change skeptics who turned the mountain of stolen material into a sensational global news story.
An exhaustive six-month independent review into the Climategate emails has concluded that the “rigor and honesty” of the climate scientists caught up in the non-scandal are “not in doubt.” [PDF]
The investigation, led by Sir Muir Russell, found no grand conspiracy among scientists brainwashed by the U.N. IPCC and Al Gore to dominate the planet by dreaming up man-made global warming, as the right wing media and blogosphere insisted in the wake of the Climategate nontroversy that followed the theft of emails and documents from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) late last year.
The report confirms again that climate scientists’ findings remain sound. Some of its key findings:
“On the specific allegations made against the behaviour of CRU scientists, we find that their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt.
In addition, we do not find that their behaviour has prejudiced the balance of advice given to policy makers. In particular, we did not find any evidence of behaviour that might undermine the conclusions of the IPCC assessments. ” (pg. 11)
Pennsylvania State University today issued its final report thoroughly exonerating climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann of any wrongdoing in the wake of the “Climategate” myth that emerged late last year when thousands of emails and documents were stolen from a computer server at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in the UK.
In the days following the posting of the stolen material onto the Internet, right-wing bloggers and media outlets loudly issued allegations of misconduct among climate scientists mentioned in the giant trove of emails. Conspiracy theorists on the right cherry-picked flagrantly out-of-context portions of the email collection in order to gin up a grand tale suggesting that man-made climate change is a fraud concocted by all of the world’s leading climate scientists, the much-despised United Nations IPCC, and, of course, Al Gore.
Despite their success in elevating this nontroversy to the national level via Fox News and other right wing media, every single independent investigation of the climate scientists involved has since cleared them of any misconduct and verified the science underpinning the IPCC’s consensus position that manmade climate change is real.
Outgoing United Nations climate chief Yvo de Boer sent an urgent message to wealthy industrialized nations on Tuesday reminding them about previous promises to help the world’s poorer nations to adapt to a changing world due to global warming. Without a firm show of funds, he said the pursuit of a global climate agreement would remain a question mark for many as the December COP-16 talks in Cancun grow closer.
de Boer urged the industrialized nations to quickly present the $30 billion in aid they have pledged to deliver over the 2010-2012 period to help poor nations fight climate change impacts such as increasingly severe droughts and floods.
“Times are harsh, especially in Europe, but $10 billion a year for three years from all industrialized countries is not an impossible call,” he said.
Melting ice caps. Crippling droughts. Acidifying oceans. Even to the untrained eye, the trends are becoming starkly clear: Climate change is upon us, and it’s only getting worse.
That, in essence, was the grim takeaway from a speech given by Christopher Field, the founding director of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University and a co-author of the 2007 U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) last week.
Bjorn Lomborg had an embarrassing encounter with truth this month. The Skeptical Environmentalist has made a lucrative career of jetting around the world on media tours telling the public that dealing with climate change will endanger the world’s poorest people.
The United Nations doesn’t see it that way. Last week the World Health Organization issued a statement for World Health Day recognizing that climate change will devastate populations in developing countries.
The US might have earned global ire for refusing to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, but not every American is a climate villain, U.S. lawmakers say. Rep. Edward J. Markey and 10 House committee chairmen, in a letter to the U.N., highlighted what they said was the willingness of the U.S. Congress and voters to act against a policy of delay adopted by the administration of George W. Bush.
…[T]he world must know that President Bush's avoidance of action is not the status quo here in America,” said Markey, Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.”