Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have broken through a symbolic mark.
Daily measurements of CO2 at a US government agency lab on Hawaii have topped 400 parts per million for the first time.
The station, which sits on the Mauna Loa volcano, feeds its numbers into a continuous record of the concentration of the gas stretching back to 1958.
The Washington Post:
…scientists say it may have been 10 million years ago that Earth last encountered this much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The first modern humans only appeared in Africa about 200,000 years ago.
I AGREE that global warming is a real problem, that it’s one we might want to do something about as well. But that doesn’t stop people from taking the arguments in favour of doing something a little too far. Like this recent bill introduced into the US Congress. Apparently we should fight global warming because more women will become prostitutes:
A group of American politicians has introduced a resolution into Congress saying that climate change (among many other bad things it does) forces women into prostitution, and that as a result the USA should use “gender sensitive frameworks” in battling the scourge of global warming.
Whereas women will disproportionately face harmful impacts from climate change …
… insecure women with limited socioeconomic resources may be vulnerable to situations such as sex work, transactional sex, and early marriage that put them at risk for HIV, STIs, unplanned pregnancy, and poor reproductive health …
COMPARE and contrast oil and wind power:
The National Wind Coordinating Collaborative, a collaboration of government officials, conservationists and industry representatives, more accurately estimates, based on actual data collected from over 100 wind farms nationally, the loss to be 200,000 birds annually.
SO. Here we have Ed Davey, the third runner up in a Wayne Rooney lookalike competition, telling us how all that work they’ve done on renewables is going to save us money:
But my Department has been concentrating on keeping bills as low as possible over the long-term – and for everyone.
Some people think climate change policies on things like wind farms are what are behind high bills. But they couldn’t be more wrong. The biggest single thing driving bills higher is global oil and gas prices. They have been rising remorselessly, fuelled by demand in growing economies like China. They’re likely to keep rising.
The Government can’t control the global market and drive down international wholesale prices. What we can do is try to drive a wedge between global prices and the cost of bills.
Through investment in domestic sources of low carbon energy like nuclear, wind and wave power, and other renewables, we are helping to insulate the public from volatile fossil fuel prices in the future.
BEFORE we get to the video for Earth Hour 2013 – Plug in for Gaia – how will you be celebrating the Dark Ages in 60 minutes?
Because it was Earth Hour, they aired out the house to get rid of the smell of singed fur by opening windows, not using a fan.
LET’S hear it for Earth Hour! Bjørn Lomborg has news of the March 23 homage to the Dark Ages:
In fact, Earth Hour will cause emissions to increase. As the United Kingdom’s National Grid operators have found, a small decline in electricity consumption does not translate into less energy being pumped into the grid, and therefore will not reduce emissions. Moreover, during Earth Hour, any significant drop in electricity demand will entail a reduction in CO2 emissions during the hour, but it will be offset by the surge from firing up coal or gas stations to restore electricity supplies afterwards.
And the cozy candles that many participants will light, which seem so natural and environmentally friendly, are still fossil fuels – and almost 100 times less efficient than incandescent light bulbs. Using one candle for each switched-off bulb cancels out even the theoretical CO2 reduction; using two candles means that you emit more CO2.
Let’s hear it for light!
THE Climate Change war is over. The New York Times has closed its climate change desk and Green Blog. Why?
Kevin Drum wonders:
Obviously the Times editors are going to come in for plenty of criticism over this, and that’s fine. They deserve it. But let’s face it: the reason they did this is almost certainly that the blog wasn’t getting much traffic (and, therefore, not generating much advertising revenue). So a more constructive question is: Why do readers—even the well-educated, left-leaning readers of the Times—find environmental news so boring? Is it because we all write about it badly? Is it something inherent in the subject itself? Is it because most people think we don’t really have any big environmental problems anymore aside from climate change? Or is it because it’s just such a damn bummer to read endlessly about all the stuff we should stop doing because, somehow, it will end up destroying a rain forest somewhere?
THIS is an absurd complaint about shale gas:
The shale gas energy boom which critioooocs say will scar the countryside could line the pockets of foreign firms rather than boosting the British economy.
Most of the companies licensed to drill for the fuel using the controversial technique known as fracking are not UK-owned, it can be revealed.
I boarded a jet plane this past Friday and traveled 16 hours through the night to Washington, D.C. I was back on a plane again on Monday morning flying the reverse 16 hours back home. I was in Washington with over 40,000 other protesters for the Forward on Climate Rally …
IT would appear that our Far Eastern cousins are actually doing something sensible about this green energy and saving Gaia bit:
Business is also more promising. By 2020 Jiuquan plans to increase wind power generation sixfold to 40GW. Wu predicts even faster growth between 2020 and 2030, when solar power starts to take off: “That’s when the technology will have matured and the generating costs will be lower. By 2030, I think China will get half its energy from renewable resources and Jiuquan will be famous around the world. People here are going to be rich.”
AUSTRALIA’s carbon tax forces companies to pay a (£15; $24) levy for every tonne of greenhouse gases they produce. Julia Gillard’s government is keen to create a clean energy economy. The tax will hit airlines. But, thankfully, Gillard is here to help them, too. Her glasses are travelling at speed:
Albert Park optical stylist Sue Feldy has been inundated with phone calls after she was exposed as the woman behind Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s new glasses …
Mrs Feldy was sworn to secrecy over her role in shaping Ms Gillard’s new look, but gained official permission to speak after being contacted by a radio station.
“I think I knew it would cause a bit of a stir,” Mrs Feldy said. “We have to keep getting them in, the stockist can’t keep up!”
Mrs Feldy flew to Canberra with 100 pairs for Ms Gillard to browse.
THE European Union is looking into imposing import duties on cheap Chinese solar panels. If they go ahead with this it will be one of the most ludicroulsy stupid things any government has ever done: yes, worse than a land war in Asia. Not as bloody or wasteful, but more stupid:
The UK could lose billions of pounds and thousands of jobs in the solar industry if the EU imposes tariffs on cheap imported panels from China, a report has claimed.
The European commission is investigating if solar panels coming into Europe from China are being sold below market value – known as “dumping” – and benefiting from unfair Chinese government subsidies.
The move by the commission, instigated last year, is the largest of its kind, with solar panels and key components worth more than £18bn exported from China to the EU in 2011.
It followed complaints from European solar manufacturers and could lead to anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties being imposed on Chinese-made panels to stop the cheap imports harming Europe’s domestic industry.
TO Washington DC for the Forward On Climate rally. Writing at the Daily Kos, Mimi reports:
Well …. it was icy cold, very windy and I admit it, I almost didn’t go.
THE Dark Ages are returning to France. French environment minister Delphine Batho says that from July 1, all non-residential buildings will have to switch off interior lights one hour after the last worker leaves the premises. The outside lights must all be extinguished by 1 am.
SIR David Attenborough is the voice of God. He’s also the leader of the Optimum Population Trust. It wants less of you. Ask yourself this: how much rainforest can be saved if 2100 baies are aborted? Had King Herod killed the first born for Gaia, would he be hero? Says the OPT:
Reversing population growth is one of the measures needed to ensure environmental survival and a better quality of life. It can be done by voluntary and peaceful means, given political and individual will to act without delay.
Says Attengod in the Radio Times:
“We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now.”
LEONARDO DiCaprio continues to explain how he will to save the planet:
In an interview with Germany’s mass circulation daily Bild, the 38-year-old American actor said: “I am a bit drained. I’m now going to take a long, long break. I’ve done three films in two years and I’m just worn out.’’
“I would like to improve the world a bit. I will fly around the world doing good for the environment,’’ added DiCaprio, in comments published in German.
AFTER the Cold War Desk, the Environment Desk closes:
The New York Times will close its environment desk in the next few weeks and assign its seven reporters and two editors to other departments. The positions of environment editor and deputy environment editor are being eliminated. No decision has been made about the fate of the Green Blog, which is edited from the environment desk.
“It wasn’t a decision we made lightly,” said Dean Baquet, the paper’s managing editor for news operations. “To both me and Jill [Abramson, executive editor], coverage of the environment is what separates the New York Times from other papers. We devote a lot of resources to it, now more than ever. We have not lost any desire for environmental coverage. This is purely a structural matter.”
WHEN green activist Jonathan Moylan issued a fake press release that led to millions of dollars being wiped off the share price of coal company Whitehaven, he became God’s representative on Earth. Bob Brown, former leader of the Australian Greens, writes in the SMH:
History is full of this. Gandhi and Mandela went to jail. Martin Luther King was assassinated. Jesus Christ turned up at the businessmen’s tables and look what happened to him. Anti-slavery campaigner John Brown’s ‘’body lies mouldering in the grave’’ and suffragette Emily Davidson was killed when she ran in front of the horses at the 1913 Epsom Derby.
BILL McKibben is FDR, leader of the Green Shirts:
Consider the moment when the great president of the last century, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was confronted with an implacable enemy, Adolf Hitler (the closest analogue to physics we’re going to get, in that he was insanely solipsistic, though in his case also evil). Even as the German armies started to roll through Europe, however, FDR couldn’t muster America to get off the couch and fight.
There were even the equivalent of climate deniers at that time, happy to make the case that Hitler presented no threat to America.
Environmental campaigners sparked a 9pc dive in the share price of Australian miner Whitehaven Coal after issuing a fake press release regarding a multi-million dollar funding facility.
FIRES are raging in Tasmania.Tony Young, who lives in Dunalley, tells media:
“The trees just went off. They were like firecrackers — flames 20ft or 30ft high. All I could do was drive to the other side of the road and look at the whole place being engulfed, just like in a movie.”
Andrew Jenkins told the Hobart Mercury:
“(Fire) came over the hill. The smoke was tremendous. There were a few spot fires and all of a sudden it was here.”
IN this video BBC nature watcher Gordon Buchanan dresses as a polar bear and sits in a mobile “bombproof” ice cube to film polar bears. In The Polar Bear Family & Me, a title with shades of Lloyd George knew my father. This is nature telly for voyeurs. David Attenborough’s Voice of God has been replaced by a telly presenter’s attempts to be mated with or eaten.
With 67 percent of the contiguous U.S. covered by snow, the first day of 2013 marked the widest coverage of snow the U.S. has seen on Jan. 1 in the past ten years. The previous record was set in 2010, when the new year saw 61 percent of the U.S. beneath snow.
WHAT news of Gaia, Leonardo DiCaprio, star of electronic arts? In 200, Leo told us:
Our fresh water and oceans are being polluted, soils are eroding, rivers are running dry, wetlands are disappearing, fisheries are collapsing, rangelands are deteriorating, temperatures are rising, coral reefs are dying, and not since a meteor hit the Earth 65 million years ago have so many species of plants and animals become extinct in such a short time.
How did we get to this point?
Quite simply, by making the same mistakes as that industrialist did by building his short smokestacks. With the ever increasing population and the constant need to tap into our planet’s non renewable resources, we are quite frankly creating our own scenario for disaster.
The problem is we are pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere much faster than the land and seas can absorb it, the accumulating gas is trapping heat and upsetting the world’s climate …
I urge individuals around the world to stand up, and ask local leaders, if they haven’t already, to pledge to purchase cleaner cars, build green facilities, and buy green power like wind or solar energy. Our actions may determine if we become a casualty in the war for a habitable planet for generations to come.
IS the BBC biased in its reporting of global warming? The Global Warming Policy Foundation has written a litter to the BBC’s new Director-General, Lord Hall. It’s from Lord Lawson (Conservative), Lord Donoughue (Labour) and Baroness Nicholson (Liberal Democrat), the three Trustees of the all-Party and non-Party Global Warming Policy Foundation.
Over many years, the BBC’s treatment of climate change issues has been marked by bias, ignorance, credulity and – in the latest episode – unwarranted concealment. The behaviour of the Corporation throughout has failed to measure up to professional standards.
In their letter to Lord Hall, the GWPF Trustees have asked the Director-General Designate also to reconsider the implications of the controversial global warming seminar held in 2006 which has shaped BBC policy on climate-related issues ever since.