The Mike Tidwell Dilemma, Part I

What responsibility does an environmentalist and science defender have to criticize one of his or her political allies for inaccuracy and the incautious treatment of complex information?

Must we be equal opportunity critics in all cases, or should we blunt our barbs lest they injure our friends?

The Planet Heats Up and The Fires Rage On

The catastrophic fires in California are not a new phenomenon in that state, but what sets this particular burn apart from those in the past is the intensity and the vast area of land that the fires have covered. While arson and downed power lines are blamed as the perpetrators, their willing accomplices are associated with climate change.

According to Ronald Neilson, a professor at Oregon State University and bioclimatologist with the USDA Forest Service, the fires are in line with what climate change models have been predicting for a long time - both in short term forecasts and long term patterns. Studies from five years ago that Neilson was involved with, predicted that the American west would become both warmer and wetter, creating a landscape ripe for catastrophe.

See You Later, Alligator -- NOT!

Whenever the world's tropical seas warm several degrees, Earth has experienced mass extinctions over millions of years, according to a first-of-its-kind statistical study of fossil records.

And scientists fear it may be about to happen again — but in a matter of several decades, not tens of millions of years.

White House Muzzles CDC Chief on Climate Health Impacts

The White House significantly edited testimony prepared for a Senate hearing on the impact of climate change on health, deleting key portions citing diseases that could flourish in a warmer climate.

A draft of the testimony submitted for White House review shows that six pages of details about specific disease and other health problems that might flourish if the Earth warms were not delivered at the hearing.

Confucius to Stephen Harper: Get the Lead Out

China's most famous teacher, philosopher, and political theorist (551-479 BC) is, of course, not still here to advise the Canadian prime minister on how to react to this country's embarrassing failure to come anywhere close to meeting it's Kyoto commitments. Fortunately, however, Confucius left some all-purpose aphorisms that might offer Harper wisdom. In this case:

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”

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