Nota Bene #119: Think! It Ain't Illegal Yet

“My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.” Who said it? Continue reading

Heartland Institute VIPs misrepresent facts again

On January 24, Mark Boslough of the University of New Mexico and Sandia National Laboratories wrote an op-ed in the Santa Fe New Mexican in which he criticized the Heartland Institute and Harrison Schmitt, a former astronaut and retired geologist turned climate disruption denier. In response, the Heartland Institute ran several posts on their blog and submitted an op-ed to the New Mexican from the Institute’s president.

The blog posts and the op-ed each contain multiple errors and misrepresentations that are in character for an organization that has a thoroughly documented history of manipulating facts and misrepresenting science to serve their ideology. Continue reading

Nota Bene #111: Mmmmm… Beeeeeer

Sorry for the long absence. Let’s carry on, shall we? “If you listen to the guys up in the stands, pretty soon you’ll be up there sitting with them.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #107: Zzzzzzzzzzzzz

“I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #101: Your Pal, Mike S.

“The guys who are shooting films now are technically brilliant, but there’s no content in their films. I marvel at what I see and wish I could have done a shot like that. But shots are secondary for my films, and with some of these films, it’s all about the shots. What’s the point? I’m not sure people know what points to make.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #99: Heed the Peace Gnome

“You just pick up a chord, go twang, and you’ve got music.” Who said it? Continue reading

The Weekly Carboholic: Tipping points will be difficult to identify



Is the Earth’s climate approaching a critical transition, aka a “tipping point,” beyond which major and largely unpredictable climate changes are guaranteed to occur? At this point, scientists do not know the answer to that question. A study published in the journal Nature aims to explain the mathematics of critical transitions beyond just the Earth’s climate and in the process, determine if there are early-warning signals that indicate when a complex system is about to undergo a critical transition.

According to the paper, every complex system, whether it be climate, asthma attacks and epileptic seizures, or systemic crashes in financial markets, exhibits the same basic precursor signs of a tipping point, at least mathematically speaking. Continue reading

Gore says ‘tipping point’ close for public push on climate change

Tom & Gore SEJ
SEJ member Tom Yulsman
asks a question of Vice
President Gore in Madison.
Photo: Anne Minard.

The fate of the earth could end up determined by which tipping point is reached first: a physical shift that ushers in abrupt climate change with catastrophic consequences, or a social one, in which public attitudes rapidly coalesce around a mandate to address climate change. Or, neither could materialize, at least not imminently.

Al Gore believes the U.S. is on the brink of a political tipping point on the climate issue. Speaking to the Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference in Madison, Wisc., last Friday, the former vice president said, “The potential for change can build up without noticeable effect until it reaches a critical mass. I think that we are very close to that tipping point.” Continue reading

The Weekly Carboholic: Climate disruption will disrupt volcanism too



Nature News reported last week that vulcanologists have concluded that climate disruption will increase the number of volcanic eruptions. According to the article, the reason is that climate disruption is expected to reduce the amount of ice present atop volcanoes and thus reduce the amount of material keeping volcanoes from erupting. Continue reading

The Weekly Carboholic: as the Arctic melts



“I was in Siberia a few weeks ago, and I am now just back in from the field in Alaska. The permafrost is melting fast all over the Arctic, lakes are forming everywhere and methane is bubbling up out of them.”

“Lakes in Siberia are five times bigger than when I measured them in 2006. It’s unprecedented. This is a global event now, and the inertia for more permafrost melt is increasing.”

This is what University of Alaska ecologist Katey Walter is quoted as saying in a New Scientist article published last week titled Arctic meltdown is a threat to humanity. Continue reading

The Weekly Carboholic: Pew poll says climate lowest priority, but results are curious



A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center in early January says that, of the priorities listed in the poll, “dealing with global warming” was dead last, with only 30% of respondents declaring it a “top priority.” This was below other issues such as the economy, jobs, fixing Medicare, crime, and the environment. But as is so often the case with polls, the devil is in the details and the methodology. For example, climate disruption is certainly an environmental issue, yet the issues are polled separately. And when you broaden the poll results beyond just the “top priority” category to include “important but lower priority,” global warming attracts support of 67% of the poll’s respondents. Continue reading

The Weekly Carboholic: low carbon holiday ideas


The holidays tend to be high-energy, high-waste, and thus high-carbon. The following sites have a number of ideas for those of you interested in reducing your carbon footprint this holiday season. Continue reading

The Weekly Carboholic: new data reveals human-caused warming at both poles


According to a new paper published in Nature Geoscience and available online here, scientists from the UK, US, and Australia have detected anthropogenic influence on the climate of both the Arctic and Antarctica. Ana according to a Scientific American article on the paper, one of the paper’s reviewers, Andrew Monaghan of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, believes that the paper may be understating the effect of anthropogenic carbon emissions on Antarctica. Monaghan’s reason? The new paper gives equal weight to cooling in the interior of Antarctica as to heating on the periphery, while interior cooling is suspected to be a result of the CFC-caused ozone hole. Continue reading

The Weekly Carboholic

lunar eclipseAccording to an article in New Scientist, scientists from the University of Colorado – Boulder have calculated that a) there isn’t much volcanic dust in the Earth’s atmosphere and b) that may be contributing to global heating.

Generally speaking, volcanoes emit lots of stuff, including carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and lots and lots of ash. However, it’s been shown scientifically that the dominant climate factor in nearly all volcanic eruptions is the sulfur dioxide, a gas that combined with water vapor in the atmosphere to create sulfuric acid droplets. Those droplets are very reflective, and when combined with high-altitude ash and dust, they create very white clouds that cool the Earth down far more than any carbon dioxide emissions would heat it up. Continue reading