Monday, April 6, 2020
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Tag: Global Warming

Webb’s a Climate Peacock & Cuccinelli’s an Ostrich

Much as I like to make fun of proud-to-be-ignorant science deniers like Ken Cuccinelli, George Allen & Eric Cantor, there are a lot of people who buy into global warming denier arguments who aren't bad people -- they're just getting bad information. How best to point out the absurdity of denying global warming when temperatures continue demolishing records?

Enter Dirty the Global Warming Denier Sock Puppet:

Witch Hunt: Cooch Has No Case; Union of Concerned Scientists Weighs...

In what promises to be a 21st Centruy version of the historic witch hunt, Virginia's pretend AG keeps doubling down on his wrongfulness.  

Cooch's persistence in savaging the career of a former University of Virginia scientist is almost unprecedented. I say almost because there have been university political witch hunts before, for instance in the decades-old attempted routing of Howard Zinn from Boston University .  In this case, however, the former faculty member wasn't even controversial.  His research had aligned with that of thousands of his colleagues around the country and the world.  

Now the Union of Concerned Scientists(UCS) has weighed in over our embarrassingly ignorant AG.  The Cooch keeps making stupid errors.  But stupid is as stupid does.  And his spouting of empty creationist propagandistic terms does not a scientific argument make.

The UCS lists some of the errors Cooch has made:

Another Bad Day for the Cooch

The hapless Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli received another blow to his Machiavellian witch hunt against climate scientists.  The US Environmental Protection Agency rejected 10 petitions challenging its 2009 determination that purported that climate change is real, due to greenhouse gases, derived largely from human activity, and threatens human health as well as the environment. In essence the EPA refused to reconsider its Endangerment Finding asserting that climate science imperils the earth and its inhabitants.  AS the Sierra club noted in its pres release:
After months of serious consideration of the petitions and of the state of climate change science, EPA finds no evidence to support these claims. In contrast, EPA's review shows that climate science is credible, compelling, and growing stronger.

Here are a few of the results of the EPA investigation.  Contrary to the claimants allegations:

• A review of every email revealed, as did four other independent reviews, no evidence of deception or wrongdoing.
• There were only two errors in a 3,000 page report.  One pertains to the rate of Himalayan glacier melt.  The other related to the percentage of Netherlands below sea level.  Neither undermined the basic finding, that climate is changing and threatens us all.
• It is false that certain studies were omitted in the IPCC report.  In fact, the studies in question were included.
• New studies do not refute evidence supporting the Endangerment Finding. Petitioners actually misinterpreted the findings, which support the Endangerment Finding.  However, other studies submitted by the petitioners were based upon unsound methodologies.  The EPA details the issues in volume one of the response to the petition documents on its website.

You can find more at the EPA website. For additional resources, you can go to the sites listed below the fold.

Where’s Your Global Warming Denial NOW, Sen. Inhofe?

You may remember, during the snowstorms last winter (note: what a concept, snowstorms in the winter!), global warming denier Sen. James Inhofe (R-Exxon Mobil) using  "Snowzilla" as a prop to "poke fun" at global warming, Al Gore, and of course the wacky environmentalists.
The Oklahoma Republican's daughter, Molly Rapert; her husband, Jimmy; and their four children built an igloo - roomy enough to fit several people inside - at Third Street and Independence Avenue Southeast. They officially dedicated the humble abode in honor of global-warming crusader Gore, even posting a cardboard sign on the igloo's roof reading "AL GORE'S NEW HOME" on one side and "HONK IF YOU [HEART] GLOBAL WARMING" on the other.
So funny, making fun of a threat to our planet's environment, our national security, and our economy. Hahahahahahahaha.  Not.

Anyway, for a tongue-in-cheek rebuttal to Sen. Inhofe's tomfoolery, and if you happen to be in the vicinity of Capitol Hill around noon today, check out the giant ice sculpture unveiling by Consequence, "the largest youth coalition ever assembled to call for a comprehensive energy and climate plan that delivers clean energy jobs, less pollution, and a more secure America."  Enjoy.

Virginia Environment Report Card


It's not often that I feel a need to thank the Richmond Times-Dispatch for providing information helpful to progressive politics, but here goes: Thanks, Times-Dispatch, for sending Virginia's members of Congress a questionnaire about their views on global climate change. The answers the newspaper got and published allow me (Hey, I am a retired teacher!) to grade our state's congressional delegation's views on global warming and how to mitigate it.

Let's get the F's out of the way first.

D-/F: The entire Republican delegation. At least you can say this about Virginia Republicans: they don't appear to be outright climate change deniers. Other than that, though, they have basically nothing to offer on this issue, voting against the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) and everything else that might actually allow the United States to address the problem. They also have no credible program themselves.

The only Democrat who merits a D, albeit a D+, is Glenn Nye (D-2nd). Nye does acknowledge that global warming "is a real and serious problem, and we must work to correct our current energy practice." Then, Nye turns around and opposes any serious measures to solve the problem, first and foremost setting some sort of price on carbon. Nye voted against ACES, which really is inexcusable, given that his coastal district is so vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

There were four congressional members who merit an A+: Bobby Scott (D-3rd), Tom Perriello (D-5th), Jim Moran (D-8th) and Gerry Connolly (D-11th).  

Memo to Kookinelli: Mann Cleared of Allegations


I realize that Ken Cuccinelli is not the kind of Republican lawyer who can accept that a person who has been found innocent really IS innocent, but that notwithstanding, a Pennsylvania State University investigative committee has cleared Michael Mann of any ethical misconduct in connection with an exchange of e-mails about global warming.

Penn State launched its probe on Nov. 30, and it dismissed three of the allegations as "not credible."  It did examine whether Mann "seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research or other scholarly activities." It concluded that he had not.

So, exactly what grounds does Cuccinelli now plan on using to continue his witch hunt against Dr. Mann and global warming? If every investigation of Dr. Mann's research and methods shows absolutely no wrongdoing, I guess Cooch can insist that Dr. Mann might have committed fraud by daring to believe that his research showed that the planet is warming in part because of human activity.

Cooch and his ilk must believe that they have the direct ear of the Lord Almighty, so whatever he thinks has to be correct. Right?

Freak Floods? Or The New Normal?

Just weeks after flooding in Tennessee, Kentucky & Mississippi killed at least 31 people, floods in Arkansas killed at least 20 people this week. And today, parts of Oklahoma City have gotten over 9 inches of rain. An Oklahoma City official told CNN, "Areas are flooding that have never flooded before."

Should we keep calling these "freak floods" or "extreme weather"? Or, given that these kinds of severe storms are exactly what climate scientists have been predicting as a consequence of global warming, do we have to re-adjust what we consider "normal"?

As Brad Johnson tweeted, welcome to the Anthropocene.

Global Warming Killing Lobsters, Jobs from Virginia to Massachusetts

Global warming isn't just raising air temperatures; it's raising ocean temperatures as well. And if you're a lobster living in already-warm Gulf Stream waters, even a small increase in temperature can push you past a tipping point, make you more vulnerable to bacteria & disease.

Scientists say it looks like that's exactly what's happening right now, with lobsters populations declining by as much as 50% off southern Massachusetts. It's not just devastating for the crustaceans -- it's disastrous for the people whose jobs depend on lobsters:

Lobster populations in a large swath of the Atlantic Ocean have declined so much that biologists are recommending a five-year ban on catching lobsters south of Cape Cod down to Virginia to allow the stock to bounce back. [...]

Lobstermen, many who learned about the proposal in recent weeks, said they were being blamed for a problem that was not their doing. Bernie Feeney of the lobstermen's association said regulators are suggesting the moratorium because, unlike warming sea waters, "it is the only variable they have control over. And fishermen take it on the chin every time."

It's not like lobsters are going extinct anytime soon. But to lobstermen, there may not be much practical difference between "extinct" and "not vibrant enough to support a lobstering industry."

But Bernie Feeney is right -- the people feeling the effects of global warming have been far too silent about its causes for far too long. Will more lobstermen now speak up about the need to end our addiction to polluting fuels & move to clean energy sources? We'll see.

Most Americans, Even Republicans, Disagree With Kook-inelli on Global Warming

The Washington Post reports on a new poll indicating "broad public support" for regulating greenhouse gases.  Believe it or not, even 55% of Republicans - including 32% of Republicans who feel "strongly" about this - favor having the federal government "regulate the release of greenhouse gases from sources like power plants, cars and factories in an effort to reduce global warming." Who knew so many Republicans and Independents were closet "socialists." Heh.

P.S. It's good to see that, despite all the lies being spread around out there by the Kook-inellis of the world, that the vast majority of Americans continue to want federal government action to prevent catastrophic climate change.  Speaking of which, a new study shows that "less ice now covers the arctic region than at any time in recent geologic history."  But, but, but, wait!  We had snow last winter! Oh my god, there can't be global warming if we have snow in the winter! (snark)

Hey Cooch: Hottest April, Hottest January-April in Temperature Records!

As usual, Ken Cuccinelli isn't just wrong, he's wildly, crazily, dangerously, insanely wrong.  Check this out.
It was the hottest April on record in the NASA dataset.  More significantly, following fast on the heels of the hottest March and hottest Jan-Feb-March on record, it's also the hottest Jan-Feb-March-April on record [click on figure to enlarge].

The record temperatures we're seeing now are especially impressive because we've been in "the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century." It now appears to be over. It's just hard to stop the march of manmade global warming, well, other than by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, that is.

Most significantly, NASA's March prediction has come true:  "It is nearly certain that a new record 12-month global temperature will be set in 2010."

But don't worry; as the planet heats up and threatens life as we know it, Ken Kook-inelli has sprung into action, investigating the causes of global warming what we can do about this dire situation the scientists studying this phenomenon! And, of course, Bob McDonnell is standing up to Cuccinelli defending academic freedom at UVA not uttering a peep of protest.  This should tell you everything you need to know about Ken Kook-inelli and Bob McDonnell, on this and on pretty much everything else as well.  Oh, and for those who claimed that a couple of snowstorms in the middle of the winter (shocker, I know!) was evidence against global warming science, you might try staring at this image for a while.