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In honor of the Bush Administration's "achievements" in manipulating global warming data, declaring the Polar Bear threatened (um, maybe, after a year of study, they'll agree it is emission caused, but then FoxNews doesn't agree with the premise, so...), and now, with that really big piece of ice falling in the sea...

I thought it might be a good time to look at those who are actually trying to acheive something vis-a-vis global warming and, for that, I turn to

Put together by Gavin Schmidt, climate scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Science's Institute, and his colleagues, Real Climate is a factual look at the climate with a bit of politics thrown in.  

From Gavin's latest post:

Inhofe's last stand

Part of me felt a little nostalgic yesterday watching the last Senate hearing on climate change that will be chaired by Sen. James Inhofe. It all felt very familiar and comforting in some strange way. There was the well-spoken 'expert' flown in from Australia (no-one available a little closer to home?), the media 'expert' from the think tank (plenty of those about) and a rather out-of-place geologist. There were the same talking points (CO2 leads the warming during the ice ages! the Medieval Warm Period was warm! it's all a hoax!*) that are always brought up. These easy certainties and predictable responses are so well worn that they feel like a pair of old slippers.

Of course, my bout of nostalgia has nothing to do with whether this was a useful thing for the Senate to be doing (it wasn't), and whether it just provided distracting political theatre (yup) in lieu of serious discussion about effective policy response...

And then there was Dr. Schmidt's review of Michael Crichton's polemic on (against) global warming:

Michael Crichton’s State of Confusion

In a departure from normal practice on this site, this post is a commentary on a piece of out-and-out fiction (unlike most of the other posts which deal with a more subtle kind). Michael Crichton's new novel "State of Fear" is about a self-important NGO hyping the science of the global warming to further the ends of evil eco-terrorists. The inevitable conclusion of the book is that global warming is a non-problem. A lesson for our times maybe? Unfortunately, I think not...

Dr. Schmidt is not the only contributor.  Real Climate is a veritable 'who's who' of climate science, including: Dr. Michael E. Mann: "Director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC)," Caspar Ammann:  "A climate scientist working at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)," Rasmus E. Benestad: "A physicist by training and work with climate analysis on a Norwegian project called RegClim, and have affiliations with the Norwegian Meteorological Institute ( and the Oslo Climate Group (OCG)," Raymond S. Bradley: "Director of the Climate System Research Center ( at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geosciences," William M. Connolley: "A climate modeller with the British Antarctic Survey," Stefan Rahmstorf: "Research at the New Zealand Oceanographic Institute, at the Institute of Marine Science in Kiel and since 1996 at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany (in Potsdam near Berlin)," Eric Steig: "Isotope geochemist at the University of Washington in Seattle," Thibault de Garidel: "Post-doctoral associate at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University, "David Archer: "A computational ocean chemist at the University of Chicago," and Raymond T. Pierrehumbert: "The Louis Block Professor in Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago."

All of whom post their own reports, essays, opinions and responses to questions.

For Exxon's press releases, I'll check with Bush, Shrub and FoxNews.

For reality, I'll fact-check with Real Climate.

Originally posted to jhritz on Sat Dec 30, 2006 at 12:29 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  One aspect of the denial phenomenon (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    npbeachfun, jhritz

    that really troubles me is that while the scientific community is arguing among themselves (although that seems almost over) and the rest of us are imaging polar bear corpses and Manhattan under water, all the emphasis seems to be on What Can We Do TO Stop It?

    What if we aren't sucessful in stopping the climate warming?  What if, despite herculean efforts to minimize the effects of fossil fuel burning, carbon dioxide emissions, etc., the planet continues to heat?  Is anyone projecting what we do then?  Are engineers designing sea walls for the coastal regions, dikes for inland river cities, sky-borne mass transportation systems, massive greenhouses on stilts, etc.?

    It seems past time to at least take a look at these measures.  

    To God: Please stop talking to George Bush. Too much is being lost in translation.

    by miriam on Sat Dec 30, 2006 at 12:58:14 PM PST

    •  That is an excellent point (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      npbeachfun, Red Tulips

      I don't know the answer, although places like Amsterdam have addressed the flooding potential well (unlike the Army Corps of Engineer's new levies for New Orleans).

      I think that climate scientists do tend to get caught up in the minutia of data, their models, etc.  For dealing with the consequences, that may take a different discipline.

      Excellent point.

    •  What will happen is what has always happened (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      npbeachfun, cyncynical, jhritz, Red Tulips

      Mass-extinctions leading to a significant drop in worldwide biomass.  Then a few million years of turmoil and the process will repeat itself anew.

      Human fertility rates in the first-world are dropping sharply.  We are poisoning ourselves, along with the planet.  After a few billion die, and more people become infertile it really won't matter that we've lost a few million square miles, and our fresh water supply is almost extinguished.  An ice age or two will bring us back to where we've started.

      Sounds lovely, doesn't it?

      •  Waaaaahhhh... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        npbeachfun, Red Tulips

        That's me crying in despair.

        Can't deny any of the what you wrote.

        At the same time -- and this does not conflict with what you wrote -- I take the Gaia point of view, the earth is a living organism that will balance itself out -- with or without us.

        It doesn't sound lovely.  It does sound possible.


  •  The scariest shit imaginable (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jhritz, jdcondit

    The ice caps continue to melt: link

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Poring more fresh water into the North Atlantic Weakening the Gulf Stream dropping the tempter in the U.k. and Europe. link

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Throwing us into the next Ice Ace. If the New Glaciers at the Polls Reach 30° latitude, the process will accelerate... throwing Ice Sheets into an icehouse climate. link

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Until at last the Earth Returns to a Snowball state, where life can start over again, in deep vents of the sea.  
    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    "If you only watch the cheerleaders, you will think your team is winning" me -6.88, -6.26

    by npbeachfun on Sun Dec 31, 2006 at 03:50:08 AM PST

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