Primary tabs

Pages

Shell Oil Behind London Science Museum Decision to Take Anti-Science Stance on Global Warming?

The Times of London reports that the London Science Museum has decided to change its position from promoting understanding of the science of global warming to one that they deem “neutral” in their climate science gallery. And by neutral they mean a stance at odds with the widely accepted science on climate change.

Partisanship and Disinformation Surrounding Global Warming Taking their Toll

A new Gallup poll shows that compared to three years ago, twice as many Americans believe that global warming’s consequences are exaggerated.

And in just the last year, there has been an increase in skepticism from 41% to 48%.

The chart below shows a number of trends. Skepticism about global warming was generally low in 1997, when the polling started, before climate change was getting regular news coverage, either fact or opinion based.

In fact, the level of skepticism did not change much with the increasing coverage of climate change in the wake of An Inconvenient Truth, increasingly publicized consensus among the vast majority of climate scientists that global warming was real, human caused and potentially devastating, the Third Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2001, or even the Nobel prize winning Fourth IPCC Assessment Report in 2007. So, we could assume that roughly 30% of the skeptics are not going to be persuaded by science. They have their opinion and they are sticking to it.

Global Warming Deniers Part Ways: Australian Institute of Public Affairs Says Goodbye to Jennifer Marohasy

The Center for Media and Democracy PR Watch reports that an Australian corporate funded think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) is not renewing the contract for Jennifer Marohasy, one of its Senior Fellows and a global warming denier.

The news is actually somewhat surprising. IPA is a right-wing, corporate funded think tank with close ties to the Liberal Party of Australia (which is actually on the political right). Its Executive Director John Roskam is a former Howard government staffer and one of the organization’s key positions is to refute the science on issues such as climate change. A position that Marohasy promoted with vigor during her six-year tenure at IPA, though not all of her attempts to spread global warming denial came to fruition.

“I had great hopes for the planned collaboration between the IPA and University of Queensland on evidence-based environmentalism but the University proved too timid and conservative – at least for me.” - JenniferMarohasy.com

Marohasy has also left her position as Executive at the Orwellian named Australian Environment Foundation (AEF), which was established to help protect timber interests in Australia and founded by the IPA. The former Executive Director of the IPA described the AEF as “pro-biotechnology, pro-nuclear power, pro-modern farming, pro-economic growth, pro-business and pro-environment.” That last pro might be questionable.

US Chamber of Commerce Study Parrots Republican Talking Points on Carbon Cap

Carbon Emissions

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce describes themselves this way on their website:

As the voice of business, the Chamber’s core purpose is to fight for free enterprise before Congress, the White House, regulatory agencies, the courts, the court of public opinion, and governments around the world.

But when it comes to climate and energy legislation, it seems their core purpose is to fight Congress, the White House, regulatory agencies, the courts, the court of public opinion and governments around the world from getting anything done. With such obstructionism in mind, they commissioned a report from CRA, a global consulting firm, on the supposed impact on the economy of the climate provision in the Obama administration’s 2010 budget proposal.

Behind the Orange Curtain, Facts about Climate Change Can be Hard to Find

The Orange County Register managed to take their complaints about the California Air Resources Board (ARB) doing their job and twist it into a piece denying the realities of climate change and spouting one of the most absurd denier claims; that global warming is benign, even good for us.

The piece starts with an accusation against the ARB of “dictating to private enterprise” by adopting regulations that will force fuel producers to reduce their carbon footprint. The role of the ARB is “to promote and protect public health, welfare and ecological resources through the effective and efficient reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering the effects on the economy of the state”. Hey OC Register editorial board, protecting the public health and environment from harmful air pollutants is the board’s job description.

It’s sometimes called a mandate.

This is government by administrative decree from unelected ARB board members, administrators and staff, who concocted a fanciful “solution” to so-called global warming, an increasingly disputed phenomenon that hasn’t occurred for at least a decade.

You have to love the global warming denial just two paragraphs into this piece. I’m not sure where they are getting their data, but 2008 was tied with 2001 as the eighth warmest year on record using National Climatic Data Center records dating back to 1880.

CO2 Speaker's Corner Makes Atmospheric CO2 Data Accessible

Atmospheric greenhouse gases are a bit of an abstraction. We can’t see them, we can’t smell them, and we can’t immediately tell when there is a change in concentration.

The site CO2Now is trying to change that by showing current data for atmospheric CO2 and helping people understand the relationship between current trends of rising CO2 levels and the effects of climate change. “The site puts atmospheric CO2 out in front where it needs to be,” says website founder Michael McGee. “It’s a simple thing that no other website is doing. I started posting atmospheric CO2 data in December 2007 when I realized it was a way I could add value to the climate conversation.”

The site also helps explain the factors that effect climate, the relationship between climate and weather and the effects of climate change like ocean acidification and reductions in global land ice. “Atmospheric CO2 is a big picture metric that hardly gets talked about outside of scientific circles,” adds McGee. “CO2Now.org was created so anyone on the internet can see the changes in the atmosphere as they happen. It presents the trend information so people can see whether or not we are doing enough to end global warming.”

When It Comes to Climate Change, Catholics Get It

According to a recent Zogby telephone survey of over 1000 American Catholics, 55% agree that climate change is a serious problem, versus 22% who do not.

Catholics in the U.S. are also clear on climate science, with 60% recognizing that human activity is a significant contributor to climate change versus 21% who do not believe that. These results are interesting at a time when, according to a Gallup poll, 41% of the overall population believes that the issue of global warming is being exaggerated by the media, despite that according to scientists and journalism scholars, the media has actually underplayed the seriousness of the issue.

Catholicism has a history of finding the intersections between science and faith and climate science offers just such an opportunity. This is particularly true when environmental interests are framed as protecting God’s creation, with three-quarters of Catholics embracing the concept of stewardship of the planet.

And consistent with the longstanding Catholic tradition of concern about the poor, the Zogby poll shows that there is particular worry about the impact of climate change on the poor, both in the U.S. and globally, with almost two-thirds surveyed believing that their faith requires them to be concerned about the effects of global warming on the most vulnerable communities.

It may also explain why more than half of Catholics surveyed believe that wealthier nations have a special obligation to help poorer countries deal with the repercussions of climate change.

Jim Sensenbrenner: Full of Opinion and Hyperbole on Climate Change Legislation but Very Few Facts

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin is the ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

Voters will be pleased to know that as a member of that committee, Sensenbrenner continues to live up to the accolades bestowed upon him by Rolling Stone Magazine which named him as one of the ten worst members of the 109th congress.

Here’s a little background on Jim “the Dictator” Sensenbrenner:

Sensenbrenner, whose $10 million fortune stems from his great-grandfather’s invention of the Kotex sanitary napkin, won $250,000 in the lottery in 1997. He also enjoys the perks of office: No congressman has racked up more frequent-flier miles on junkets sponsored by corporate lobbyists. While he was enjoying the good life last year, Sensenbrenner took time out to make life tougher on working families, winning approval for a bill that makes it harder for Americans overwhelmed by debt to declare bankruptcy. The congressman refused to consider an exemption from the bill’s restrictions for victims of Hurricane Katrina – and even voted against the aid package designed to help them recover from the disaster. - Rolling Stone

Peer Review and the Science Versus Opinion Smackdown

Peer Review - a process by which something proposed (as for research or publication) is evaluated by a group of experts in the appropriate field. – Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Over the weekend, Brian Angliss posted a piece over at Scholars and Rogues on why scientific peer review matters. He wrote it in response to climate change deniers who like to argue that peer review is useless and therefore, just because climate science is peer reviewed, it isn’t necessarily true.

Unfortunately for the denier community, it’s a little more complicated than that. As Angliss writes:

One major misconception about all varieties of peer review is that the reviews guarantee no errors in the final product.

What peer review does is start a process of finding and correcting errors, which generally continues upon and after publication, Angliss explains. It is another step in the scientific method of gathering data and testing hypotheses to solve a problem or understand an issue. Because of this method, scientific understanding often builds and deepens over time. That does not make the original assumptions or theories incorrect.

Why Are Mitch McConnell and John Boehner Working Against the Interests of America?

Reasonable people can disagree about the particulars of an energy and climate bill.

Some might say that the bulk of renewable investments should go toward wind and others might say solar. Some can insist that money raised from making polluters pay should go toward investments in more renewables and others can insist that such money should go to offset any costs to tax payers.

What is unreasonable is to posit that we should do nothing at all about our reliance on energy from fossil fuels or catastrophic climate change. What is unreasonable is to lie about the effects of proposed solutions. What is unreasonable is to complain about the ideas offered, but offer no alternatives. What is unreasonable is to act as if doing nothing is good for the American people.

So either certain Republicans are unreasonable, playing politics with energy and security, or they don’t care about what’s good for the American people.

Let’s start with the economy.

If you are against clean energy, you are against economic recovery and American jobs. We simply can’t solve the current economic crisis without addressing energy, climate and security. Oil imports cost us as much as $700 billion a year. Add to that $49.1 billion a year spent protecting our interests in the Persian Gulf (not including the costs of the Iraq war or what we spend in South America) and the 830,000 high paying jobs our oil dependence sends abroad.

Pages