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The most important issue humanity has ever faced isn't even a part of the political conversation. On that front the politicians have failed. All of them. The traditional media haven't just failed, they are complicit in the deliberate cause of that failure. Which means it's up to us. Just as the Occupy movement has changed the nature of the economic conversation in this country, we the people must change the nature of the political conversation in this country, and thus force the issue of climate change into public consciousness as not only urgent but of primary importance. It sounds like hyperbole, but on this task the future of life as we know it does in fact depend.

President Obama and the Democrats are paradigmatically better than the Republicans on the issue of climate change, yet they to a dangerous degree understate and undervalue the criticality of the moment. But the Republicans deny the science of climate change altogether. Even worse, in their feign of acting reasonable the Republicans go so far as to pretend to care about the science of climate change, with the flatly false assertion that the science is controversial and unproven. The usually compliant and enabling traditional media usually support them in this lie. And worse.

This past week, one of the most insidious conspiracies to undermine public understanding of the facts about climate change finally was revealed. Some traditional media outlets responsibly reported the story, beginning with the British newspaper The Guardian; but it certainly hasn't received the same attention given to the earlier false claim that the science of climate change has been fabricated— a story that itself received far more attention when it initially broke than when it was completely and thoroughly (pdf) and beyond all doubt debunked as not only systemic lies, but lies promoted through what appears to have been criminal activity.

None of this would be possible if people knew the scientific truth. The earlier concocted scandal would not have been taken seriously if people knew the scientific truth. The newly revealed legitimate scandal— which includes attempts to disinform children, and payments to scientists and bloggers who will deny the scientific consensus— was a direct assault on the scientific truth. And that is where we the people must start: the scientific truth. We must so embed in public consciousness the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change that even such a well-funded disinformation industry, such incompetence and complicity from traditional media outlets, and what now has become boilerplate lunacy from Republicans cannot dissipate it. When people fully understand the scientific truth they will insist that politicians act. Republicans and other climate deniers will be dismissed with the disdain they deserve, and Democrats will, as they do often do, follow where the people lead. That is the great advantage of the Democrats. As with the Occupy movement, when the people are resolved and their message is clear, the Democrats do listen.

Most of what follows is well more than a year old. None of this is breaking news, although new reports about the impacts of climate change pour in almost daily. The scientific consensus has been well established, and that many in the traditional media and pretty much all prominent Republicans continue to deny it speaks not only to their blatant dishonesty, but given the strong terms used by the scientists, their reckless irresponsibility as well. What follows is a brief but scientifically comprehensive overview. Read it. Bookmark it. Send it to anyone who ever questions whether climate change really is happening, or whether there isn't legitimate scientific debate about what really is happening. You don't need to go into the details about carbon emissions or chemical processes or quantities of global ice loss or sea level elevations or ocean acidification or the potential feedback loop of tundra methane releases, although there is plenty of available information on all of them. But most people want to keep it clean and clear, and they just want to start by understanding whether or not this really is happening. What do the scientists say? Start with that. Let that sink in. Climate change is happening. The consequences are and will be devastating. Maybe we should do something about it.

In May of 2010, the Los Angeles Times reported:

In a sharp change from its cautious approach in the past, the National Academy of Sciences on Wednesday called for taxes on carbon emissions, a cap-and-trade program for such emissions or some other strong action to curb runaway global warming.

Such actions, which would increase the cost of using coal and petroleum — at least in the immediate future — are necessary because "climate change is occurring, the Earth is warming ... concentrations of carbon dioxide are increasing, and there are very clear fingerprints that link [those effects] to humans," said Pamela A. Matson of Stanford University, who chaired one of five panels organized by the academy at the request of Congress to look at the science of climate change and how the nation should respond.

The three reports issued Wednesday, totaling more than 860 pages, provide the broad outlines for a U.S. response to the threat; two more reports are to come.

"This is the most comprehensive report ever on climate change," said atmospheric scientist Ralph J. Cicerone, the president of the academy. They outline "why the U.S. should act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and why we should have a national strategy to adapt to the inevitable."

And the press release from the National Academies:
The compelling case that climate change is occurring and is caused in large part by human activities is based on a strong, credible body of evidence, says Advancing the Science of Climate Change, one of the new reports.  While noting that there is always more to learn and that the scientific process is never "closed," the report emphasizes that multiple lines of evidence support scientific understanding of climate change.  The core phenomenon, scientific questions, and hypotheses have been examined thoroughly and have stood firm in the face of serious debate and careful evaluation of alternative explanations.

"Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for — and in many cases is already affecting — a broad range of human and natural systems," the report concludes.  It calls for a new era of climate change science where an emphasis is placed on "fundamental, use-inspired" research, which not only improves understanding of the causes and consequences of climate change but also is useful to decision makers at the local, regional, national, and international levels acting to limit and adapt to climate change.  Seven cross-cutting research themes are identified to support this more comprehensive and integrative scientific enterprise.

The 2009 State of the Climate report released today draws on data for 10 key climate indicators that all point to the same finding: the scientific evidence that our world is warming is unmistakable. More than 300 scientists from 160 research groups in 48 countries contributed to the report, which confirms that the past decade was the warmest on record and that the Earth has been growing warmer over the last 50 years.
The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society.
The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years.

Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. Studying these climate data collected over many years reveal the signals of a changing climate.

Certain facts about Earth's climate are not in dispute:

  • The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was demonstrated in the mid-19th century.2 Their ability to affect the transfer of infrared energy through the atmosphere is the scientific basis of many JPL-designed instruments, such as AIRS. Increased levels of greenhouse gases must cause the Earth to warm in response.
  • Ice cores drawn from Greenland, Antarctica, and tropical mountain glaciers show that the Earth’s climate responds to changes in solar output, in the Earth’s orbit, and in greenhouse gas levels. They also show that in the past, large changes in climate have happened very quickly, geologically-speaking: in tens of years, not in millions or even thousands.
The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.
The Earth's climate is now clearly out of balance and is warming. Many components of the climate system-including the temperatures of the atmosphere, land and ocean, the extent of sea ice and mountain glaciers, the sea level, the distribution of precipitation, and the length of seasons-are now changing at rates and in patterns that are not natural and are best explained by the increased atmospheric abundances of greenhouse gases and aerosols generated by human activity during the 20th century. Global average surface temperatures increased on average by about 0.6¡C over the period 1956-2006. As of 2006, eleven of the previous twelve years were warmer than any others since 1850. The observed rapid retreat of Arctic sea ice is expected to continue and lead to the disappearance of summertime ice within this century. Evidence from most oceans and all continents except Antarctica shows warming attributable to human activities.
Careful and comprehensive scientific assessments have clearly demonstrated that the Earth’s climate system is changing rapidly in response to growing atmospheric burdens of greenhouse gases and absorbing aerosol particles (IPCC, 2007). There is very little room for doubt that observed climate trends are due to human activities. The threats are serious and action is urgently needed to mitigate the risks of climate change.
Indeed, strong observational evidence and results from modeling studies indicate that, at least over the last 50 years, human activities are a major contributor to climate change.

Direct human impact is through changes in the concentration of certain trace gases such as carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, and water vapor, known collectively as greenhouse gases.

Decades of scientific research have shown that climate can change from both natural and anthropogenic causes. The Geological Society of America (GSA) concurs with assessments by the National Academies of Science (2005), the National Research Council (2006), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) that global climate has warmed and that human activities (mainly greenhouse‐gas emissions) account for most of the warming since the middle 1900s. If current trends continue, the projected increase in global temperature by the end of the twentyfirst century will result in large impacts on humans and other species. Addressing the challenges posed by climate change will require a combination of adaptation to the changes that are likely to occur and global reductions of CO2 emissions from anthropogenic sources.
  • Joint statement by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Chemical Society, American Geophysical Union, American Institute of Biological Sciences, American Meteorological Society, American Society of Agronomy, American Society of Plant Biologists, American Statistical Association, Association of Ecosystem Research Centers, Botanical Society of America, Crop Science Society of America, Ecological Society of America, Natural Science Collections Alliance, Organization of Biological Field Stations, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Society of Systematic Biologists, Soil Science Society of America, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research:
Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. These conclusions are based on multiple independent lines of evidence, and contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science. Moreover, there is strong evidence that ongoing climate change will have broad impacts on society, including the global economy and on the environment.
  • Joint statement (pdf) by the Science Academies of the G8+5 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, United States, Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa):
The IPCC 2007 Fourth Assessment of climate change science concluded that large reductions in the emissions of greenhouse gases, principally CO2, are needed soon to slow the increase of atmospheric concentrations, and avoid reaching unacceptable levels.

However, climate change is happening even faster than previously estimated; global CO2 emissions since 2000 have been higher than even the highest predictions, Arctic sea ice has been melting at rates much faster than predicted, and the rise in the sea level has become more rapid. Feedbacks in the climate system might lead to much more rapid climate changes.

The need for urgent action to address climate change is now indisputable. For example, limiting global warming to 2°C would require a very rapid worldwide implementation of all currently available low carbon technologies. The G8+5 should lead the transition to an energy efficient and low carbon world economy, and foster innovation and research and development for both mitigation and adaptation technologies. Capitalizing on new technologies will require a major scientific effort and policy initiatives to accelerate
adoption of new technologies. The need to find solutions to climate change presents a huge but as yet unrealized opportunity for the creation of new jobs and for the stimulation of new and emerging markets. The role of innovation in delivering energy efficiency and a low carbon world should become a major part of the efforts to rebuild the global economy.

Most of the climatic warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been caused by increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Documented long-term climate changes include changes in Arctic temperatures and ice, widespread changes in precipitation amounts, ocean salinity, wind patterns and extreme weather including droughts, heavy precipitation, heat waves and the intensity of tropical cyclones.
Policy: The AIP supports a reduction of the green house gas emissions that are leading to increased global temperatures, and encourages research that works towards this goal.

Reason: Research in Australia and overseas shows that an increase in global temperature will adversely affect the Earth’s climate patterns. The melting of the polar ice caps, combined with thermal expansion, will lead to rises in sea levels that may impact adversely on our coastal cities. The impact of these changes on biodiversity will fundamentally change the ecology of Earth.

Realizing,

Continuing reliance on combustion of fossil fuels as the world’s primary source of energy will lead to much higher atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, which will, in turn, cause significant increases in surface temperature, sea level, ocean acidification, and their related consequences to the environment and society;

Stabilization of climate to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”, as called for in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, will require significant cutbacks in greenhouse gas emissions during the 21st century; and

Mitigation of and adaptation to climate change can be made more effective by reducing uncertainties regarding feedbacks and the associated mechanisms;

Urges,

Nations collectively to begin to reduce sharply global atmospheric emissions of greenhouse gases and absorbing aerosols, with the goal of urgently halting their accumulation in the atmosphere and holding atmospheric levels at their lowest practicable value;

National and international agencies to adequately support comprehensive observation and research programs that can clarify the urgency and extent of needed mitigation and promote adaptation to the consequences of climate change;

Resource managers, planners, and leaders of public and private organizations to incorporate information on ongoing and projected changes in climate and its ramifications into their decision-making, with goals of limiting emissions, reducing the negative consequences of climate change, and enhancing adaptation, public well-being, safety, and economic vitality; and

Organizations around the world to join with IUGG and its member Associations to encourage scientists to communicate freely and widely with public and private decision-makers about the consequences and risks of on-going climate change and actions that can be taken to limit climate change and promote adaptation; and

Resolves,

To act with its member Associations to develop and implement an integrated communication and outreach plan to increase public understanding of the nature and implications of human-induced impacts on the Earth system, with the aim of reducing detrimental consequences.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:00 PM PST.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots and RoadtoRio.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Most important (67+ / 0-)

    yes and cannot be said enough.

    The most important issue humanity has ever faced isn't even a part of the political conversation. On that front the politicians have failed. All of them. The traditional media haven't just failed, they are complicit in the deliberate cause of that failure. Which means it's up to us.

    My 8-year-old, Charlotte, asked if Herman Cain's tax plan was called, "Mine, mine, mine!"

    by Ellinorianne on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:11:59 PM PST

    •  How can I help? (11+ / 0-)

      How do I overcome this feeling of helplessness?

      Back in the 70's they lowered the speed limit to save gas. Why did they raise it again? Did it slow progress too much?

      I feel like we're racing to a stop sign with bad brakes.

      I always think of Easter Island when I think about gradual changes that result in calamity. At some point did they not realize they were chopping down the last tree and wouldn't be able to build any more boats? Whatever their immediate need, it clearly outweighed any concern for the future.  Are we not behaving the same way?

      “The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway” ~ Henry Boye~

      by Terranova0 on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:54:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's no helping (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oldhippie

        The 1% own the air. They will foul it until it fails to provide profits.

        I'm not feeling much better than YOU are today, are I? But I promise you this: Mere words won't make me feel better or make the crisis better.

        We're all just waiting to see how long it's going to take.

        "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

        by DaddyO on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:22:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  DaddyO, understand your position, but reason you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NoMoreLies

          have no recs is because most of us feel there is always some way out.  Americans define themselves by their possibilities. & even if we don't succeed, let's go down fighting.

          Empathy is going to change the world.

          by Mayfly on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:54:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agree we need to be fighting, just don't see (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NoMoreLies, Terranova0, SaraBeth, adrianrf

            fight in many people.

            Good to see this diary though, and the one by7 Cassiodorus today. There's a sign of hope. I will also gain hope if we can not only FORCE this topic in the political debate in 2012 but then dispel the doubt and expose the deniers as the dangerous frauds they are.

            Even with all that, we will need to see a movement growing that will quickly be orders of magnitude larger than Occupy (which is not by any means meant to disparage Occupy, but to describe how large this has to be if it is truly going to have mass societal impact on lifestyle behavior in the next 3-4 years when we to need cap emissions, and then shortly thereafter when we need to begin dramatically reducing it year in and year out for over 30 more years...)

            This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

            by Words In Action on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 03:48:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Words In Action, you wrote; (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mightymouse, Mayfly
              "...mass societal impact on lifestyle behavior in the next 3-4 years when we to need cap emissions..."
              Emissions will be capped not by TPTB but by Peak Oil. We are running out...to think otherwise won't make it any different (not saying you do, but others are in denial about this too).

              We are, IMO facing TWO crises that are converging...Peak Oil, and Climate Change. Arguing and fighting about these is not going to help....it wastes time and energy...we must learn to adapt to survive it.

              "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abby

              by SaraBeth on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 04:02:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  We ARE facing two crises, you're right. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                adrianrf, SaraBeth, Mayfly

                Unfortunately, running out of oil will not prevent Climate Change from triggering its own disaster. Not only is there more oil to burn, but we have coal, natural gas...let's don't even get started on frakking!

                And not just peak-oil. Pretty much Peak-Natural Resource in general.

                This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

                by Words In Action on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 11:13:47 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  The laws of physics (7+ / 0-)

            don't give a shit about America or how Americans define themselves.

            •  It's too late to avoid climate change, but its not (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FarWestGirl, SaraBeth, Mayfly

              too late to mitigate it.  So the outcome isn't yet up to the laws of physics alone.  It's also up to human beings, i.e. us.

              In dealing with climate change, the difference between a maderately bad outcome and a catastrophic outcome will mean life or death for thousands of species and millions of human beings.

              So we need to rally and do what we can.  

              If we fail, there'll be plenty of time for despair later.

              •  I hate to say it because it sounds so cruel, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mayfly

                but we are not going to be able to save everyone...not of other species, nor some of Humankind. IMO, this is a time of massive evolution. Those who adapt will survive, those who don't simply won't.

                There is no way to sugar coat this... Humankind is smart, and capable of great things. But Mother Nature is greater still...and is about to teach us all a lesson.

                "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abby

                by SaraBeth on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 04:06:41 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Amen to that (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SaraBeth, yaque, adrianrf, Ellinorianne

      And the evidence is so blatantly obvious to anyone with a brain AND a conscience, but alas that is apparently asking too much of most our elected officials who would rather bury their collective heads in the sand.

      •  What if there is a reason (0+ / 0-)

        our elected officials bury their collective heads in the sand.  One of the reasons our government doesn't make climate change a priority could be that our planet already has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.  Our politicians may already be aware of this while playing a 'deny or ignore it game' so as to not alarm the population.  How would this affect mankind if they finally learned there is no hope.  All life is going to end in x amount of time and there is nothing we can any longer do to alter this. Would mankind change the way they feel about going to a job everyday, taking care of their financial responsibilities, reducing their carbon footprints?  

        What if the masterminds built some sort of survival station in space?  Moved everyone they thought necessary to sustain life on the station before the earth's population realizes they're not returning and the rest of us have been quietly left to face the inevitable.  Would the earth's population feel deceived, riot, burn, loot, run for the hills, turn on each other to see who could survive the longest?  

        We already know our oceans are in serious trouble.  We know our land, water supplies and air are being heavily polluted.  We see no urgency by our leaders to address these problems.  This should set off serious alarms.  Except for small environmental groups, I hear no bells, no sirens, no international warning systems what-so-ever.  .    

        •  I'm sorry rpaws5, (0+ / 0-)

          I cannot believe this theory. First, it would have to be a MASSIVE undertaking to build a space station with millions of people to keep the secrete. There would have to be training of the people who were chosen to go into space...

          It would be too big of a secrete to keep.

          IMO, it is ALL about the money. The MegaCorps who are paying for the denial industry are only worried that they will not be able to make more and more money.

          "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abby

          by SaraBeth on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 04:10:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You missed the point (0+ / 0-)

            I was attempting to make.  Perhaps this was my fault.  A space station, a biosphere system above or below the ground, here or perhaps on the moon, it makes no difference.  How many individuals it would take to build one of these systems makes no difference.  It wouldn't have to be done in secret.  Perhaps the end purpose would be a secret but you would might never know that.  

            The point I was attempting to make is that the general population might not be made aware if the planet was terminally ill.  If you were officially told that this planet will not be capable of sustaining any life in your or your children's lifetime or perhaps starting as soon as next week, your values would change.  Pandamonium could break out. Hence, the 'deny or ignore game' that is currently being played out politically possibly serves some diversionary purpose.

    •  Instead of addressing our stewardship of a planet (10+ / 0-)

      that does not belong to us, most "Christians" in the public sphere today focus on issues that have little, if anything, to do w/ Gospel values.  My son and I are in Boston for a debate tournament, and I was shocked to find out that they've only had 7.8" of snow all winter.  It's been into the 40s every day we've been here--while it has been warm in SoFla this winter, the weather here genuinely surprised me.

      Global warming is not only on the political radar screen in this caimpaign, it's hundreds of miles away from the nearest radar station.   We're seriously failing generations to come.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 03:27:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  what's the big deal? (15+ / 0-)

    As soon as President Santorum or Romney builds a bridge to the 13th century and transports us there, climate change won't be a problem.  Matter of fact, since that pesky old science won't have been developed yet, a whole lot of things won't be problems.

    Will be kind of a bummer, not to have Google or refrigeration anymore.  I will miss baseball, too.  And Elvis.

  •  The fact that we're STILL fighting the (18+ / 0-)

    very acceptance of AGW means we've lost.

    Barring a technological miracle, that is.

    •  Sadly, I agree completely (15+ / 0-)

      I believe that in the end, the Republicans' short-term victories will lead to their eventual defeat.  Not necessarily from an overall political standpoint, very sadly, but simply on this issue.  In the shorter term, say until around 2030, the current status quo will continue.  By that time, the damage to our biosphere, and its cascade of consequences, will be utterly impossible to ignore.  At that point, there will begin a slow, gradual acceptance of the reality of human-caused climate change by GOP public voices - all of which will carefully deny that the direct obstructionist tactics of their forbears are as responsible as the undisciplined use of resources and technology that caused the problem in the first place.  But on this point, it will - for all of us - be too late.  I have no idea what this world will look like in 2030; I simply know that, barring catastrophic illness or accident, I will be here to see it.  I don't expect to like what I see.

      Ironically, another typical GOP obstructionist point - the cry for small government - may well prove to be, at least on this issue, defeated by their own machinations.  Handling the inevitable fallout of severe biosphere damage (more severe than it currently is) will be spectacularly expensive - enough so to make it thoroughly unattractive to private industry.  Who'll be left holding the ticket?  Why, the government of course.  And the GOP will no doubt say that the Democrats caused the atmosphere problem, just as they've successfully blamed Dems for the financial crisis.

      It's not a scary picture.  It should be science fiction; instead, almost everyone reading this diary will probably get to see it, and "I told you so," will be bitter compensation for our having been right.

      •  It may already be too late (13+ / 0-)

        While there is certainly consensus regarding the fact of anthropogenic (sp?) climate change, the question of whether it can be stopped or reversed and/or what it would take to turn it around are not so clear. I recall scientists warning in the 80s and 90s that by the time we are able to say definitively that global warming is happening, it will be too late to stop it even with extraordinary measures.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:46:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I remember that, too (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action, SaraBeth

          :(

          "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

          by DaddyO on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:24:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Precisely (3+ / 0-)

          The damage is already severe.  It is simply that Republicans are terribly, terribly effective at reaching their base, and brutally efficient at getting out and maintaining a message.  There will come a point at which their strident denials fall on deaf ears, defeated by weight of unignorable evidence - but we're already at a bad enough place now that I thought that would have happened years ago.  It hasn't.

          I wonder what we are going to lose that will bring it home to the most ardent red-staters.  Will the carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere get high enough that smaller animals - like dogs and cats - just can't handle it, and start dying en masse?  Loads of totally valid scientific evidence is all well and good, but all the dogs and cats in America (where they are extremely common housepets) DYING would send a much clearer message to even the most determined deniers.

          Except that somehow, I don't want to know how, the GOP would promptly manufacture a story about how Democrat-imposed regulations had made manufacturing unsafe, so really, all the Fluffies and Rovers of the world dying is really the Democrats' fault.

          •  No. We now live in a world where all truth is (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NoMoreLies, mightymouse

            subject to editing and revision, where there are no facts but simply assertions of fact, where science is simply opinion and can't possible hold up when challenged by the self-annointed prophets of the marketplace (not to mention god's word), where history is whatever the revisionists with the most money and access to the media say it is, and where a frightening percentage of people get 99% of their information from TV commercials and from the various mouthpieces of the right-wing echo chamber.

            I won't be alive in 50 years, but I expect that the general population will only become less, not more, informed, and that the architects of the societal and planetary destruction that will inevitably happen will never get the full credit they so richly deserve.

            "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

            by flitedocnm on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:02:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  thanks (21+ / 0-)

    A few senators do talk about it, but you are right, our politicians are almost all either silent (including our Democratic president) or expressly spouting lies.

    This is a big problem - if public figures don't make the case, there is no urgency.

    Public concern around climate peaked in 2007, in the wake of "Inconvenient Truth." But now, when the weather is wackier, pols too silent, with few exceptions.

    I hope this changes soon.

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:18:43 PM PST

    •  "pols ARE too silent" - whoops (7+ / 0-)

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:20:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And as OWS proved (7+ / 0-)

      It takes outside pressure to get them to not only talk, but sometimes even do something about an important issue they're ignoring.

      The same model is the only way we'll get them to talk and do something about this issue. Well, either that, or the consequences of climate change.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:37:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, the same model on a gargantuan scale. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse, NoMoreLies, SaraBeth

        I think that means that Occupy's organizational core needs to relax its standards and methods of participation to increase participation and the Occupy critics need to set their criticisms aside, contribute to the solution and stand in relentless solidarity.

        Seriously, a couple million on the Mall and a couple hundred thousand on Wall St, indefinitely, and things WILL start to change much faster than any election season can accomplish.

        (Which is not to say elections aren't imporatant and we shouldn't fight to win them, it's only to say the results from that alone are going to be far too limited to win the War against CLimate Change, the Class War, or any other War for that matter.)

        This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

        by Words In Action on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 03:59:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Coincidentally, public concern peaked (6+ / 0-)

      around the same time the recession started...actually not a coincidence. As the recession has gotten worse, concern about the actual climate (as opposed to the economic climate) has pretty much fallen off a cliff.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:48:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  However implementing the solutions (4+ / 0-)

        to this crisis would put a hell of a lot more people to work than what the over-ripe and mature fossil fuel industries are currently providing. Plus, with a longer term, more sustainable focus away from the work and consume treadmill, people would have richer and more relaxing lives.

        Trickle Down Economics 101: They get the golden parachute, we get the golden shower.

        by NoMoreLies on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:05:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  we are nothin' more than a pet issue, (4+ / 0-)

      doncha know?  no more important than various other policies pushed by issue groups, e.g., immigration reform and marriage equality, and far less important than economic issues.

      Never mind that it's the future of humanity we're talking about.

      The world is on pace for 11 degrees F warming. Nothing else in politics matters. @RL_Miller

      by RLMiller on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:19:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's the way they do the math (3+ / 0-)

        kinda stinks.

        Another time when I made a similar point (I am pretty repetitive, heh), another poster pointed out the apocryphal FDR quote, "that's sounds like a great idea, now make me do it." As if he only did anything in response to political pressure.

        But I missed the obvious comeback. FDR did not do WWII in response to political pressure. That was a must-do, and he sold it to the country (delicately) in the face of a lot of isolationism.

        Anyway, I wait for the big guys to end their silence.

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 03:02:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  And the Publicans piled onto him too for making (5+ / 0-)

      an issue of the inconvenient truth. Now when they are trying to increase world population by dragging us back a few centuries is probably way too late.

      In effect they are standing with fingers in thier ears and thier tongues stuck out saying "liar liar pants on fire, I can't keep ants out of the sugar how can I be affecting the climate of the whole big world?" Or some version of that.

      I find most amazing the lying SOS tea baggers who claim to be concerned about thier grandchildren when it is obvious thier concern is only for themselves. TO hell with thier grandchildren or great grand children... everybody dies. Let me see thier grandchildren can have babies constantly, have no unemployment insurance, no ss, no medicare, no health care, no schools, no fire depts, no police depts, ... but plenty of soldiers and weapons... Who cares if they die from famines or droughts or floods or super storms or ...

      Fear is the Mind Killer

      by boophus on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:26:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It Can't Be Done via Politics In This Country. (20+ / 0-)

    Our system design probably at its core is the worst democratic design I can think of for addressing conditions of widespread scarcity and need for individual actions to be weighed in light of the needs of society.

    And there's no scarcity greater than greenhouse gas capacity: the entire planet cannot accept one single new net molecule.

    Anywhere.

    Any time.

    At any speed.

    If the US is to participate in correcting this crisis, it'll have to be accomplished some other way than by politics.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:20:46 PM PST

  •  Not just scientists (24+ / 0-)

    Jeremy Grantham, founder of GMO, one of the largest private asset management firms with over $100 billion in assests founded The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, is presenting a talk next month called: Attitudes in America to Investing, Resource Limitations and Global Warming: Irrational Avoidance of the Unpleasant. From a profile in the NYTimes last summer:

    Grantham says that corporations respond well to this message because they are “persuaded by data,” but American public opinion is harder to move, and contemporary American political culture is practically dataproof. “The politicians are the worst,” he said. “An Indian economist once said to me, ‘We have 28 political parties, and they all think climate change is important.’ ” Whatever the precise number of parties in India, and it depends on how you count, his point was that the U.S. has just two that matter, one that dismisses global warming as a hoax and one that now avoids the subject.

    I know which side I am on: the one that does the math.

    by Grassroots Mom on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:21:37 PM PST

    •  While it's hard to defend politicians (7+ / 0-)

      the fact is that the American people are now the main obstacle to a rational policy on climate change...see what happens even here if you suggest something like taxing gasoline at a rate that would raise the price enough to cut consumption (and increased gas prices are the only thing that has every gotten Americans to use less)....people scream bloody murder about how they won't be able to make a living.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:55:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Talking about just that (7+ / 0-)

        Yesterday GrassrootsDad and I were doing some errands which involved dropping the kids off dance class, then we went light bulb shopping, etc. Anyway on our way to look at super energy efficient lighting options, we talked about what changes we would make if gas went to $10 a gallon.

        First of all, the day of Mama's chauffeur service would be over. My son would have to walk or ride his bike to school every day. Both kids would have to start taking public transportation to their various after school and weekend activities or else give up some. My husband would trade in his 15 year old Honda Civic for a hybrid. He'd also work at home more instead of running into the office just because it's quieter there than at home. I'd ride my bike to the store instead of driving when we need a couple of things. We'd plan out big shopping trips and limit big shopping trips to maybe once a month or something.

        If gas was $10 a gallon we'd have to make big change, but we'd also be healthier, get more exercise, eat less, go shopping less, spend less money on junk and clutter, and spend more time together as family feeling more connected and less stressed.

        Hmmmm.

        I know which side I am on: the one that does the math.

        by Grassroots Mom on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:19:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The taxes on the fossil fuels (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SaraBeth, mightymouse, adrianrf

          would also have to be spent on giving people alternatives to what we have now, such as the Steel Interstate. The reason why high fuel prices are so painful in this country is that the mismanagement of our transportation and land use policies have ensured that many Americans have no viable alternative to driving, and that the typical transportation budget in the US currently eats up 20% of the median family income.

          Alternatives have to be built. Europe has them. Even 28 years ago when I went to Sweden, I had no need for a car to get virtually anywhere in the Stockholm area, including the suburbs. The very high fuel prices can be avoided there because you don't need a car.

          Trickle Down Economics 101: They get the golden parachute, we get the golden shower.

          by NoMoreLies on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:14:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  EXACTLY Grassroots Mom! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mightymouse

          Beginning to think about what we each can and will do as this crisis grows bigger and bigger is half the battle.

          As for the kids giving up their activities, those could be put right back into the local community...and be a way of making a living for those who teach dance for instance...out of their homes, or at a community center within walking or biking distance...

          Were there is a will, there is always a way....

          "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abby

          by SaraBeth on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 04:35:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly if the Dems go it alone they will be voted (0+ / 0-)

        in the next election. People are concerned about living today... let tommorrow worry about itself. As for giving a damn about thier descendents ... tommorrow is their problem.

        Fear is the Mind Killer

        by boophus on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:30:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They may scream bloody murder, (0+ / 0-)

        but Peak Oil is already making gasoline more and more expensive.

        "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abby

        by SaraBeth on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 04:32:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Grantham's (5+ / 0-)

      newletters make very interesting reading -- which too few financiers are reading.

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:37:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Agree on your characterizations of the republicans (17+ / 0-)

    and the democrats on this...the republicans insist it isn't happening and isn't going to. The democrats agree that it's happening now. The problem is that it has been happening for a long time, and we are already looking at too little, too late. We all need to stop looking at profitability and start looking at survival.

  •  Beat down (10+ / 0-)

    I have to say I'm really beat down on this issue. I'm glad others still have some fight left but there seems to be no amount of evidence that one can present that will highlight the fierce urgency of now. I've done what I can to reduce my carbon footprint but very little has fundamentally changed the Western world's collective dependance on fossil fuel. I think we've reached the point of no return. All that's left to do is wonder what climate event will be the ah-ha moment for mankind.

    •  Individual measures are a matter of social (6+ / 0-)

      responsibility, important social responsibility, but if every single one of us does all of the common things talked about for reducing our footprints, that'll account for about 20% of carbon emissions. And we aren't going to get that many to do it ALL voluntarily. We have to go after the institutional emitters: industry, commerce, government, esp. the military.

      You want to balance the budget? Cut back the carbon emission budget of the military!

      Kudos to you for you personal sacrifice. Hope you can hang in there long enough to participate in whatever last gasp movement we can muster...

      This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

      by Words In Action on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 04:08:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Funny you mention the military (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean, SaraBeth

        The Pentagon is actually VERY concerned about climate change, if only because of all the wars that are going to pop up as a result of fights over land & resources caused by climate change. IIRC the Navy is slowly but surely switching to alternative fuels.

        Somebody here once recommended I read Gwynne Dyer's Climate Wars. I did, so now I'm recommending everybody else read that one too. I also recommend Storms Of My Grandchildren by James Hansen & Six Degrees: Our Future On A Hotter Planet by Mark Lynas.

        A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

        by METAL TREK on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 05:22:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's true. My wife has inside knowledge of this. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          adrianrf

          But their focus is on the defense angle, not the prevention angle.

          Funny how it can be so well known/accepted in the Pentagon but not in the MSM, business or general public...

          This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

          by Words In Action on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 11:05:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Now. (9+ / 0-)

    It's real. It's here. The only question is whether we will act on our knowledge to protect ourselves, our children, and all that humanity has achieved, or whether we will listen to the deniers whose only concern is profiting from ignorance and fear.

    Thank you for writing such a detailed overview of our current information. I'll be sharing it with my students on Tuesday. In their University research paper writing class, I have them speculate how climate change may affect them in the next 20 years. I may have to have them start researching how it will affect them in the next ten.

    Namaste.

  •  Also please take a look (10+ / 0-)

    at my benighted diary of today, dealing with roughly the same subject from a different angle...

    "I think the Obama campaign would be taking this populist-sounding tack even if Occupy had never happened." -- Paul Street

    by Cassiodorus on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:23:56 PM PST

  •  Over Population is equally as important. (13+ / 0-)

    Population in 1950 was 2.5 billion and today is 7 billion.

    Extrapolate 100 years.  This planet can't support 50 billion people.

  •  And for a true idea of how difficult (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DawnN, Words In Action, SaraBeth

    getting off of carbon based energy would be and how little time we have to take drastic measures to do so, watch this:


    "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

    by Sagebrush Bob on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:29:06 PM PST

  •  Not most important issue humanity has ever faced (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III, rb608, Matt Z, WillR

    I think those would be asteroid defense, nuclear proliferation, or biological warfare/terrorism

    AGW IS very important and very, very dangerous, but it wont kill all of us, or at least not for a very long time.  

    One big strike, on the other hand, and we are all cooked.  Major Nuclear war or out of control bio warfare, same deal.

    Hyperbole hurts the case ISTM.    

    Out of my cold dead hands

    by bluelaser2 on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:29:50 PM PST

  •  Although (9+ / 0-)

    Santorum is bringing this oldie but goodie back not realizing that even evangelicals have realized that in being good stewards of the earth you protect man by protecting resources and keeping the planet livable for it's life forms.

    "Well, I was talking about the radical environmentalists," he told Schieffer. "That's what I was talking about: Energy, this idea that man is here to serve the Earth, as opposed to husband its resources and be good stewards of the Earth. And I think that is a phony ideal. I don't believe that that's what we're here to do - that man is here to use the resources and use them wisely, to care for the Earth, to be a steward of the Earth, but we're not here to serve the Earth.

    "The Earth is not the objective," Santorum said. "Man is the objective. I think a lot of radical environmentalists have it upside-down."

    Source

    Exploitation is what I read without consequences.

    My 8-year-old, Charlotte, asked if Herman Cain's tax plan was called, "Mine, mine, mine!"

    by Ellinorianne on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:32:30 PM PST

  •  This is a political, not a policy issue (15+ / 0-)

    The policy aspects of this issue have largely been demonstrated and agreed upon, at least at the general level. Namely, that man-made climate change is real, it's significant, and it's serious, and something can and must be done on it at a level that only government can really do and coordinate properly.

    The problem is making this happen on a political level.

    And the standard response to why it isn't happening is that there isn't at present the political room to make it happen, that we have to wait a while longer before such room emerges, and that if we try to force this issue now, it will only backfire.

    To which I call bullshit. There will never be the political room to make this happen if we simply wait for it to emerge on its own. Other, more seemingly pressing issues will always push it aside and further out into the future.

    And the reason for that is because the other side, the people who don't want us to acknowledge let alone do something about this issue (or any other issue that we believe is important), are really, really good at intimidating us into backing down and punting on this (and other important) issue, and we all too readily oblige.

    We are still playing the game on their terms, with their frames, and on their ground. Which is why we keep punting, and thus losing.

    On the other hand, the other side has not hesitated to fight what at first appear to be rediculous and unwinnable wars. Rolling back abortion rights? Rolling back birth control? Attacking a country that doesn't threaten us? Stealing an election? Nonsense, they'd never try anything this crazy! But they HAVE, and in many cases succeeded at it. Why? Because they have the guts to be audacious and bold and the determination to follow through with it to the end.

    And we don't.

    Instead, we run from fights, waiting for some mythical time in the indeterminate future when it's finally the "right" time to fight them, because we think we can win them at last. Which, of course, is bullshit. NOW is the time to fight these fights, and we have to learn how to do this from the other side. We have to make these the right issues to fight--NOW--and force the other side to fight us on them on OUR terms, on OUR ground, using OUR frames.

    Because it's not only the right thing to do, it's the only thing to do, and it's absolutely winnable, if we do it right. Yes, it'll be nasty and bruising and painful, but when has it not been? Civil War? Unions? New Deal? Civil Rights? Hello?

    So enough punting. Screw that. Now is the time to do this. And the political room to do it can and will emerge. We just have to create it.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:32:37 PM PST

    •  Sirry I can only rec it once. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SaraBeth
      Because it's not only the right thing to do, it's the only thing to do, and it's absolutely winnable, if we do it right. Yes, it'll be nasty and bruising and painful, but when has it not been? Civil War? Unions? New Deal? Civil Rights? Hello?

      So enough punting. Screw that. Now is the time to do this. And the political room to do it can and will emerge. We just have to create it.

      We the people who know the deal on Climate Change have to individually and collectively change our lives to bring this to a head. We can't fear failure. What could be less of a waste of time, whether we succeed or not? If we don't try with everything we've go to win this thing on every field of competition we can imagine, we'd be idiots. What more important things do we have to do?

      This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

      by Words In Action on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 04:26:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that most of us already have changed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Words In Action, adrianrf

        our lives, in terms of being more eco-friendly. Sure, there's always room for more, but this isn't what's going to get us to that transformative moment when we as a society finally resolve to deal with this properly. What will get us there, the only thing that can get us there, is applying massive political pressure on those who have the power to do this, namely political and corporate leaders.

        Occupy Wall Street ==> Occupy K Street

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:08:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU (10+ / 0-)

    I haven't even finished yet but I felt it urgent to acknowledge how critically important this is.

    It seems the topic has fallen completely off the radar even though our opportunities to deal with this critical problem on scale and in term keep disappearing under the bridge.

    If morality is about how man/woman treat man/woman, at the narrowest, and how man/woman treat all life, all existence, at the broadest, then surely this is a moral test of the highest order.

    As Jared Diamond in Collapse demonstrated, we have failed this test many times on smaller ecological scales in the past.
    It doesn't bode well, but we must rise challenge.

    If we can't get the plutocracy and government do it through representative government, we must mount a direct action machine large enough to transform society to address this problem.

    This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

    by Words In Action on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:42:48 PM PST

  •  Slightly OT but The Guardian is reporting (11+ / 0-)

    that Heartland Institute may be under investigation by the IRS:

    The Heartland Institute, the libertarian thinktank whose project to undermine science lessons for schoolchildren was exposed this week, faces new scrutiny of its finances – including its donors and tax status.

    The Guardian has learned of a whistleblower complaint to the Internal Revenue Service about Heartland's 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

  •  The IPCC has been saying since 2007 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mahakali overdrive, oldhippie

    that we've passed the threshhold where we can actually do something about it.

    I mean, try everything imaginable to fix it - with a sense of futility, I don't drive a car and do hang dry my laundry to keep my carbon footprint down - but also get used to the idea that grieving may be all we've got left.

    If religion means a way of life, and life's necessities are food, clothing, and shelter, then we should not separate religion from economics. - Malcolm X

    by dirkster42 on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:55:24 PM PST

  •  The problem is that politics requires majorities (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, boophus, Mayfly, SaraBeth

    No problem can even be defined with an agreement among enough people that it "ripens" into something to deal with.
    No solution can be proposed unless it can anticipate a majority vote.

    THis is why the political system as a whole moves as slowly as it does, even when you consider the scale of global warming.

    In fact, most people are only concerned with their local issues, and if they cannot relate them to larger national or international ones, they won't pay much attention.

    It requires an ability to spend time thinking and reading and considering and most people don't have time for this or won't invest time in this.

    Thus, since global warming as an issue has only ripened into something to deal with in national politics recently, the problem is to keep on pushing the urgency.

    When you talk about smething like billions of people, a lot of people just don't get that.  When you talk about the impact that billions of people using gasoline or coal have, really it is a reach.

    I would advocate for as much repetition in as many forms and in as many places as possible.  

    At the moment, there are probably more people in the denail camp or the uncertain camp than there are in the camp that is sure we need to take this with all due urgency.  That is what has to change before the political system will change.

    However, it looks like that is slowly happening.

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 01:55:34 PM PST

    •  In the US, 60% believe there is doubt, after many (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SaraBeth, adrianrf

      years of denial marketing by the corporate media. In 2007-2008 it was much easier to say that the debate was over than it is today.

      Internationally, there is widespread majority agreement, which is why you see so much more support for Kyoto than in the US (and Australia)

      Which is not to say that Kyoto is anything close to sufficient, but it showed an acceptance of the problem and an agreement around the need to act.

      This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

      by Words In Action on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 04:32:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Crazy weather we're having." (8+ / 0-)

    Ever notice how we seem to be saying that more and more?

  •  Bookmarked (3+ / 0-)

    Excellent work.  Although I agree with some that given how long we've known about this issue, and how little ground we've gained on it over the past decade, it's unlikely to be resolved in a satisfactory way, for the majority of humankind.

    •  Yeah, the U.N. committee was formed in 1992, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drewshaw

      I think. And that was years after the initial scientific spadework was done.

      It's truly astounding. And just when you think we're ready act, in 2007-2008, the plutocratic media goes on a full-court blitz to instill doubt among 60% of Americans.

      This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

      by Words In Action on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 04:36:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great article.I highly recomment this video series (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    timewarp, SaraBeth

    "Attempting to debate with a person who has abandoned reason is like giving medicine to the dead." - Thomas Paine

    by liberalconservative on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:03:58 PM PST

  •  Denial is big Business. (3+ / 0-)

    A well-financed business.
    It's also a political wedge used by those who would put profit over people, or those seeking the money and support of the aforementioned group.

    "As God is my witness, I thought wingnuts could fly."

    by Niniane on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:09:56 PM PST

  •  This is the existential issue of our lifetimes. (8+ / 0-)

    The amount of disinformation just makes me sick.

  •  Heartland Institute Promising to Sue Everybody (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, SaraBeth
  •  We're doomed (0+ / 0-)

    We're all Cassandras now. And nobody--nobody--gives a shit.

    A fitting cap on the apex of American world domination. Ten million sound-bite-driven battles, and FOX News won.

    A fiery doom awaits them, in this world as well as the next...

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:20:38 PM PST

  •  Global Warming in Capitalism (6+ / 0-)

    Hey this is my first comment. I tried to post it as a reply to someone but it didn't work, so I'll just try it here.

    Actually, the problem isn't a political one at all. It's an economic one. Look at Germany right now. Everyone over there agrees that climate change is real. They believed in its existence so much as to have put $130 billion into subsidies to support it. The problem is the results of have been limited and now the (relatively) conservative party is shutting down the subsidy program.

    It's not a matter of knowledge. It's a matter of profit. There is no clear path to profiting off green energy any time in the near future. The market is going to take its time to transition away from fossil fuels. Time that we might not have.

    We live in a world where the needs of profit are more important than the needs of people. So what do the needs of profit do in this country? They try and create a reality where the needs of profit and the needs of humanity don't clash by denying the science of global warning. Then they do a better job of selling that reality than the people who know what the scientific reality actually is. This is the nature of capitalism, where with enough money you can buy reality and twist it to your own needs.

    The capitalist system simply isn't equipped to deal with the problem of global warming. It has been able to roughly adapt to economic problems, ones that solely deal with the stability of capital. This time it has to adapt to a far more severe problem on grounds that it uncomfortable with. It seems clear to me that it just isn't responsible to allow the capitalist system continue when it has consistently shown how little it cares about the most important problem that humanity has every faced. All over the world capitalism has had the end of civilization staring it in the face, but couldn't see it through all the short term profit in the way.

  •  Deniers remind me of (6+ / 0-)

    the mayor in the movie "Jaws". Gotta open the beaches for the 4th of July or we go broke. Except that Amity island will be entirely underwater by the middle of this century.

    Eat organic food, or as your grandparents called it, food.

    by madame damnable on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:23:30 PM PST

  •  Disaster Recovery Planning (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mayfly, mightymouse

    What's needed at this time are all hands on deck to thoroughly plan for the 'what are we going to do about it'.

    Putting aside stopping CO2 increases, I'm speaking of how to deal with what we already know is coming our way -- extreme weather/earth events.

    I'm sure there are groups / thinktanks/ organizations working this angle, but this needs to be front and center in our daily discourse.

    One example that I heard recently is the idea that the atmosphere could be seeded (similar to cloud seeding for rain) in various areas in order to try to maintain some control over imminent disasters.  There should be tons of research $ fed into these kinds of ideas.

    The last two paragraphs above are a start:

    "Organizations around the world to join with IUGG and its member Associations to encourage scientists to communicate freely and widely with public and private decision-makers about the consequences and risks of on-going climate change and actions that can be taken to limit climate change and promote adaptation; and

    Resolves,

    To act with its member Associations to develop and implement an integrated communication and outreach plan to increase public understanding of the nature and implications of human-induced impacts on the Earth system, with the aim of reducing detrimental consequences."

    •  geoengineering (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indie17, Nowhere Man, Calamity Jean

      is a dangerous fantasy.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:39:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The idea (0+ / 0-)

        that there are yet-to-be-developed technological advances with which disasters could be mitigated -- that's still a good idea, regardless.

        Geoengineering is indeed being looked at, and of course I am aware that it is risky and potentially dangerous.  Sample article:

        http://www.thenational.ae/...

        Regardless, I trust that man has inventive ideas yet to be discovered that could be of great benefit, and considering how important this subject is, THAT is my point.

        •  it's being looked at (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SaraBeth

          but most credible scientists consider it a distraction, and potentially extremely dangerous.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 03:26:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here's the problem: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            indie17

            These scientists are super smart people. But many appear incredibly naive about this POLITiCAL reality. WE are not stopping pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

            WE are not SLOWING pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

            This is the reality.

            Geoengineering is probably the only hope.

            Better try our best on it.

            •  no (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LLPete, SaraBeth

              the scope is beyond our intellectual capacities.

              The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

              by Laurence Lewis on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 04:03:28 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Evidence, please? (0+ / 0-)

                A lapidary statement is not enough in this case.

                I trust science. There are some directions being worked on.

                I'm not saying there are no dangers or that it will happen. But it is certainly not something you can simply dismiss on its face.

              •  Beyond our collective WISDOM, IMO. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Laurence Lewis, adrianrf

                Like we are seeing with the bio-engineered food from Monsanto...just because Humankind CAN do something does not always mean that we SHOULD...

                The consequences of our doing stuff without thinking it through thoroughly is all around us. It has brought us to this time and place as it is...

                Einstein once said,

                "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."

                "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abby

                by SaraBeth on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 05:19:33 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Climate Strategies vs Weather Strategies? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SaraBeth, indie17

              I think bio-engineering does have some potential in climate change mitigation, though I also think it’s important to parse out exactly which specific strategies can effectively address climate change.

              Sequestration approaches like reforestation and biochar carbon sinking seem to have proven potential (particularly given the low technical barriers to implementation). I even think more fringe ideas like oceanic iron fertilization deserve further research.

              I don’t know that I would agree on using bio-engineering as a global adaptation strategy for deflecting extreme weather events though. I would go with Lawrence that the possibility of unintended effects seems off-putting, and our predictive skills for weather events are still in a rather infantile stage.

              Given the high investment required for uncertain return with weather-engineering research, I would rather see climate change efforts (and funding) focus on emissions reduction, demonstrated CO2 sequestration methods, and lower technology adaptations (gradually relocating populations beyond 500-year floodlines, wetland restoration, coastal preservation, etc).

          •  Even though (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Laurence Lewis

            you seem to have missed my further point here, I can't thank you enough for creating this article.  It's high time that someone did so!

    •  There are such groups (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indie17, Calamity Jean, SaraBeth, adrianrf
      I'm sure there are groups / thinktanks/ organizations working this angle, but this needs to be front and center in our daily discourse.
      But they are working on evaluating strategic locations for personal survival. These include scieintists who recognize that tipping point was passed long ago.

      They also work on damage mitigation, but the approach is more pallative than restorative.

      Most of the good work is coming out of the US military and intelligence agencies. IMO, they are the most comprehensive about what changes to expect and when. Their reports --  both classified and public -- are constantly released to Congress and the President.

      The people who need to know what's happening already know. Better than we do.

      This is what that looks like.


      "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

      by Pluto on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:48:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  While I agree we need to have (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indie17

      disaster planning and response...to think we can rely upon technology in the age of Peak Oil/Energy Resources is not, IMO, feasible.

      We need to stop thinking bigger and start thinking smaller. I think my sig. really says it all.

      "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abby

      by SaraBeth on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 05:15:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's be honest (0+ / 0-)

    By the time climate change really starts causing a global catastrophe, the Yellowstone supervolcano will have blanketed the earth in a foot of ash and plunged us back into a new ice age.

  •  People Knew More Three Decades Ago Than (5+ / 0-)

    they do now about air pollution. Politicians back then would not have dared to say the denial things they say today. Agnotology is surging because denialism is surging. The Marshall Institute began denialism a couple of decades ago. Now The Heartland Institute is carrying the denialism ball.

  •  Yeah, but who's the genuine Conservative? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, Pluto, SaraBeth

    Each of the Republican candidates is trying to prove his title to the most genuine conservative, which I suppose also means the biggest climate change denier. Ironically we think of "conservation" as advocacy of protection of the environment. These candidates are not "conservatives" as much as they are reactionaries, which of course defines the modern Republican Party.

  •  I find this a useful table (12+ / 0-)

    From     Considering Institutional Authorities and Climate Change.

    Professional Societies and Major Relevant Research Institutions on whether humanity is driving climate change

    Humanity driving climate change Uncertain about extent of  human role
    • National Academies of Science (US)
    • Royal Society (UK)
    • Chinese Academy of Sciences
    • Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
    • Academy of Science of South Africa
    • Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy
    • Academia Mexicana de Ciencias, Mexico
    • Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina, Germany
    • Académie des Sciences, France
    • Royal Society of Canada
    • Indian National Science Academy
    • Science Council of Japan
    • Australian Academy of Sciences
    • Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts
    • Caribbean Academy of Sciences
    • Indonesian Academy of Sciences
    • Royal Irish Academy
    • Academy of Sciences Malaysia
    • Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand
    • Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
    • NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS)
    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
    • National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
    • State of the Canadian Cryosphere (SOCC)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    • Royal Society of the United Kingdom (RS)
    • American Geophysical Union (AGU)
    • American Institute of Physics (AIP)
    • National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
    • American Meteorological Society (AMS)
    • Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS)
    • Woods Hole Resarch Center
    • American Association of State Climatologists
    • Federal Climate Change Science Program, 2006 (the study authorized and then censored by Bush)
    • American Chemical Society - (world’s largest scientific organization with over 155,000 members)
    • Geological Society of America
    • American Astronomical Society
    • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    • Stratigraphy Commission - Geological Society of London - (The world’s oldest and the United Kingdom’s largest geoscience organization)
    • Union of Concerned Scientists
    • The Institution of Engineers Australia
    • National Research Council
    • International Council on Science
    • ETC ……
    American Association of Petroleum Geologists

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:32:08 PM PST

  •  I really appreciate you posting this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, samanthab, lachlustre

    In the midst of all the hyperbole of the day, the seriousness of this issue cannot be overlooked.

    If we make the Earth  uninhabitable, little else will matter.  As much as I care, and I do, about many issues, it won't make any difference how you feel about healthcare.  Your local drugstore will probably be under 10 feet of water.  You won't have any currency anyway.  Most, if not all, governments will have collapsed.  Who knows what will happen to food crops and farms...and all the life that envelops this planet.

    Maybe a few of the ultra rich will find a way to survive.  But giving your grandchildren a gas mask is no way to live.

    Thanks for the post...

  •  Are you talking about just the US? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel, Laurence Lewis
    The most important issue humanity has ever faced isn't even a part of the political conversation.
    I realize it is a big factor because we are big polluters. Just wondering if this misinformation conspiracy is primarily an American problem.


    "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

    by Pluto on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:38:23 PM PST

    •  Not solely American ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laurence Lewis, Pluto, mightymouse

      even if sequestration of the issue into the 'no talk zone' (other than RWSM denialism) is more serious here than elsewhere.

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:43:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  you read overseas media (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto

      how often do they headline it? how often to foreign leaders headline it?

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:45:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  China headlines it a lot. (5+ / 0-)

        But, they also make 5-year and 10-year plans for their nation. So these things come up.

        However, I have many charts and global opinion polls showing people's beliefs about global warming and their anxiety levels that something be done. The US is a wide outlier on these.


        "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

        by Pluto on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:52:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  compared to the urgency (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto

          they're still far from adequate, and europe is mostly focused on punishing its populations in order to pay off the banks.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 02:56:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Only nations driven by power and rich (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Laurence Lewis, SaraBeth, blueness

            ...central governments are able to address the issue at the momumental level it requires.

            The US is an exploitation-based, privatized, capitalist nation with no central vision except for making war and controlling other people's resources. (America's own resources are privately owned, rather than nationalized, so it really doesn't benefit from them or effectively control them.) See my lobby chart above.

            We're going to have to look elsewhere.

            China is interesting because they are using capitalism to address the issue. Most of their native technology is focused on alternative energy. And, they really do have a big deal going on about pollution and global warming, internally.


            "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

            by Pluto on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 03:07:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  but they've fought the treaties (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pluto

              they are leading on some alternative technologies but they also don't want to slow their economic expansion by cutting back their use of fossil fuels.

              The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

              by Laurence Lewis on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 03:20:05 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  China is methodical (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Laurence Lewis, blueness

                I mentioned 5-year plans.

                This is about the one that began in March 2011:

                The blueprint said that China will commit to boosting spending on education, healthcare and public housing, initiatives intended to narrow the wealth gap between the rich and poor.

                While pledging to make China a fairer society which would provide new and stronger sources for future growth, the five-year program also shows China plans to follow a more sustainable and low-carbon development path.

                China used a series of punishing "administrative" measures to try to meet a target to reduce 2005 levels of energy intensity by 20 percent by the end of last year, forcing thousands of energy-guzzling enterprises across the country to shut down after cutting off their power supplies.

                The five-year plan said China will boost the proportion of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to 11.4 percent, and energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP should be reduced by 16 percent and 17 percent respectively during the five years.

                Experts lauded the tougher determination which would reinforce the world's efforts to meet the challenges posed by global warming.

                http://news.xinhuanet.com/...


                "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

                by Pluto on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 03:37:50 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  How does one argue this (3+ / 0-)

    to people who have convinced themselves that it's all just a conspiracy by scientists who are trying to grab a bigger chunk of funding?  There seem to be a lot of people who really do have that mindset, and I have not been able to figure out how to get through to them.

    •  you remind them (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lachlustre, SaraBeth

      that research scientists don't make a ton of money. the petroleum institute pays better.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 03:16:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What do you think about these? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indie17, SaraBeth

      1) Most climate researchers do NOT want more funding for their research.

      I think that if given the choice, they would all (like I can speak for them... but anyway) swap more funding for political action to do something about climate change. It is obviously happening, it is obviously going to be catastrophic. At this point, more research is much less important than action.

      The money invested in dealing with/preventing climate change would go to an entirely different set of people from climate scientists.

      2) Research funding is limited. A dollar spent on climate change is likely a dollar not spent on other fields of research. So the support of the broad scientific community, and organizations like the AAAS and Royal Society are telling.

      If climate science is a hoax, it has managed to swindle the whole scientific community out of their research funding. If there were real reasons to be suspicious of the scientific process in climate change, wouldn't you think that other scientists would have been first in line to ring the alarm?

      •  I'll have to try these (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SaraBeth

        I don't have much hope, since once someone latches on to a conspiracy theory, it's hard to shake their belief that anything else is just part of the conspiracy.  But there's no harm in trying.

    •  I don't argue with them any more... (0+ / 0-)

      Instead I am learning and implementing adaptions as best as I can for the survival of my family. And, hopefully in the meantime establishing a role model for when they finally realize that they are/were wrong.

      "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abby

      by SaraBeth on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 05:31:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Though I agree... (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    SaraBeth
    Hidden by:
    Blicero

    That climate change is occuring and it's in part be driven by human activities; however, it would be the height of foolishness to forget that the vast size and scope of the Earth, (nature) has the ability to render humans and their activities irrelevent.

    •  yes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      the planet can survive just fine without us.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 03:06:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The problem with this diary (0+ / 0-)

      and all the similar posturing here on Kos and elsewhere is the labeling of anyone who raises questions about any aspect of the "consensus" as a denier, a traitor, or worse.  I try to point out published research that deals with the CO2 sensitivity parameter or the Holocene reconstruction or cloud feedback problems but it is like trying to argue with religious fundamentalists about salvation.  To be clear, I understand that most climate modeling specialists agree with the CO2 forcing hypothesis but there are many responsible, rational scientists who disagree about specific aspects of the AGW theory (yes, I understand what a theory is).

      •  actuallyt (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean, adrianrf

        the problem is that you don't know what you're talking about. there have been roughly 1500 peer-reviewed studies confirming agw, and none denying it.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 05:57:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If by "confirming agw" you mean (0+ / 0-)

          something like:  Fossil fuel combustion in the industrial era has increased CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.  As a result, the climate is warmer than it otherwise would have been.

          Then I don't disagree at all.  However, there are legitimate questions about natural variation, forcing, feedbacks etc that are covered in the peer-reviewed literature and bear critically on the future climate state.  Denying that these publications exist makes you what, a denier?

          •  there are plenty of natural phenomena (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SaraBeth, adrianrf

            that effect climate. we even understand the main causes of ice ages. but none of that has anything to do with agw. it's like saying that there are cancers that aren't caused by smoking tobacco, therefore there are questions about tobacco as a carcinogen.

            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

            by Laurence Lewis on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:35:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Your problem may be in how you talk to (0+ / 0-)

        people. If you would explain your concerns in ways that lay people can understand, and not get mad when what you say goes over our heads...you might get a better response to what you have to say.

        "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abby

        by SaraBeth on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 05:38:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ya know, it doesn't really matter WHY, (0+ / 0-)

      or WHO caused Climate Change... It is a natural occurrence, although this time made worse or to happen sooner than normal, by Humankind....

      All that matters, IMO, is that we learn to adapt or evolve to survive the changes.

      "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abby

      by SaraBeth on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 05:34:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very nice summary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kindler, mike101, Laurence Lewis

    Thank you. I hope this summary will help champions of doing the right thing to persuade deniers about scientific truth, but I have my reservations.

    New scientific discoveries are reported in diverse peer-reviewed journals. These are analogous to historical primary sources, and are quite technical. Often the results paint part of the global picture, but they are rarely globally conclusive. An example is "Observing Earth's atmosphere with radio occultation measurements using the Global Positioning System" published in 1997 in the Journal of Geophyscial Research- Atmospheres by ER Kursinki of Caltech (DOI 10.1029/97JD01569). Good solid science, and accessible only to a highly trained, specialized, "elite" few.

    Frequently, "review articles" are published in similar technical journals. These are also subjected to peer review, and are frequently written by one or more experts in a field, presenting no new research, but a comprehensive review of a significant body of technical literature. Typically, these articles are quite long, but not quite as technical as original research papers. A good example might be "Soil carbon sequestration to mitigate climate change" published in Geoderma in 2004 by R. Lal from Ohio State University. (DOI: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2004.01.032) These reviews present a nuanced "bigger picture" accessible to other scientists trained specialists, but are generally not accessible to non-technical folks.

    The final type of publication is a "position paper", typically presenting the consensus of a scientific body. Each of the papers referenced above are of this type, and they are usually not technical, but do present conclusions that are based on solid science, and are often written by the same technical experts that write technical research papers. The AAAS paper noted above "AAAS Board Statement on Climate Change" is less than one page, and isn't even signed by an author. Many, or most, such papers are written on topics that is of interest to policy makers and other non-technical audiences.

    Such meta-reviews are easily dismissed as "conspiracies" of scientists. The motivation attributed to these scientists by these tin-foil hat types can be diverse, but it's often repeated. I teach engineering in a land-grant university, and I am amazed how often students point out, as if fact, that "the jury is still out on reasons for global warming".

    I worry that in the culture that claims that academics are "elitists", and that doesn't value science in general, it's simply to easy to say "those academics have to say that, since their funding hinges on them believing in global warming".

    What we have here is a failure of education. The fact that there are so many otherwise intelligent people willing to say that evolution is a "theory" is the best evidence for an uneducated population I could imagine.

    If you don't believe scientists when they speak topics in their specialization, then... Then what? The education deficit seems so overwhelming. I don't think evidence and documentation will do the job.

  •  why do we let 76 universities feed the denial? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, mightymouse, adrianrf

    the universities below broadcast sports on 170 limbaugh stations, and those stations are dedicated to global warming denial.

    they mock of their own mission statements by doing so. to broadcast sports on those stations is to  endorse them in their communities and states, increase the acceptability of the denial, racism, hate, sexism, and partisan misinformation coming from them every day, and attracts sponsors.

    talk radio leads the way in global warming denial. if a significant number of these unis began looking for alternatives it could seriously challenge the effectiveness of the global warming denial 'business' ass well as the effectiveness of talk radio in the next elections.

    the link in my sig goes to a list of links to their main pages.

    United States Air Force Academy
    University of Alabama
    Arizona State University
    University of Arkansas
    United States Army War College
    Auburn University
    Baylor University
    Boise State University
    Boston College
    Bowling Green State University
    Clemson University
    University of Colorado–Boulder
    University of Connecticut
    University of Dayton
    East Carolina University
    University of Florida
    Florida State University
    California State University–Fresno
    University of Georgia
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    University of Idaho
    University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign
    Indiana University–Bloomington
    University of Iowa
    Iowa State University
    University of Kansas
    Kansas State University
    University of Kentucky
    University of Louisiana–Monroe
    University of Louisville
    Louisiana State University
    University of Maryland–College Park
    University of Memphis
    University of Michigan
    Michigan State University
    University of Minnesota–Duluth
    University of Mississippi
    Mississippi State University
    University of Missouri
    University of Nebraska–Omaha
    University of Nevada–Reno
    University of New Mexico
    New Mexico State University
    University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill
    University of Notre Dame
    Ohio State University
    University of Oklahoma
    Oklahoma State University
    Oral Roberts University
    University of Oregon
    Oregon State University
    Pennsylvania State University
    University of Pittsburgh
    Purdue University
    Seton Hall University
    University of South Carolina
    University of South Florida
    University of Southern Mississippi
    Syracuse University
    Texas Christian University
    Temple University
    University of Tennessee
    University of Texas–Austin
    Texas A&M University
    Texas Tech University
    Troy University
    University of Central Florida
    University of California–Los Angeles
    Utah State University
    University of Virginia
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State
    University
    University of Washington
    Washington State University
    Wichita State University
    University of Wisconsin–Madison
    Xavier University

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 03:06:39 PM PST

  •  What happens next? (4+ / 0-)

    1) Every one of the major scientific organizations in the world has issued a statement about the urgency of dealing with climate change.
    2) Activists seem to have tried every trick possible to raise people's consciousness about the issue.
    3) Skilled political communicators like Gore have campaigned on the issue.
    4) Major scientific reports about how the climate is going to change and what that will mean are published on what seems like a weekly basis.
    5) There is a long and growing list of ways in which climate change can be mitigated, reduced or prevented, if we take action now.

    ... and I think I could have written all of the above about 10 years ago. And nothing has changed. It seems that a large proportion (50% +-10%) of Americans are simply resistant to the idea. I think I understand why: it is deeply unpleasant to realize that your lifestyle is destructive enough to reshape the entire planet! And so every wrinkle that is added to the science, every controversy, faked or otherwise, puts us back at the start line, because it would be really GREAT if climate change wasn't real, so wonderful, in fact, that many people can't resist the idea, even if it is not true.

    What can we do to reach these people before it is too late?

  •  Don't despair -- educate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mike101, mightymouse, SaraBeth

    Chuck in Reno is right -- it's a failure of education.  Gore showed that it was possible to move public opinion by educating people en masse through film.  

    Unfortunately, it didn't go far or deep enough and too few other leaders followed in his footsteps.  He moved the ball a few yards down the field, but not far enough for a touchdown.

    We all have to shake off the defeatist attitudes I'm hearing in too many of the comments above and educate -- first ourselves, and then others.

    America has become a scientifically illiterate society -- opening the door to outright hostility toward science.  We need to bite the bullet, turn off BS garbage like "Jersey Shore" and learn more about what climate change really means and how to counter the lies the Fossil Fuel Lobby is spreading through front groups like Heartland.  

    Imagine -- educating yourself and others about science has now become a revolutionary act!  Just like in the good 'ol Middle Ages...

    It ain't over 'till the orange guy cries. Now on Twitter.

    by kindler on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 04:15:28 PM PST

  •  "Scientists" whose findings are for sale (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, SaraBeth

    Are not scientists. Science must be predictable and reproducible. If it is not both of those things, it is not science and throwing money at something doesn't change physics.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 04:41:09 PM PST

  •  I try to get local democrats to heed this. (0+ / 0-)

    So far maybe a nibble.  Sigh!

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 04:49:47 PM PST

  •  They must have had Republicans on Krypton as well (0+ / 0-)

    A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

    by METAL TREK on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 05:01:11 PM PST

  •  My theory is many Repugs agree with climate change (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, Calamity Jean

    BUT since so many of them are bought out by the oil lobby and we should all know where they stand they do what they are told to do. Deny. deny.deny.

  •  Human stupidity and self-destruction always head (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, Calamity Jean

    for a massive crisis, and that's the only thing that apparently
    clubs people over the head and makes them move in another direction. It'll take some severe incidents over time to cut through the political and economic special interests to build a massive and loud and undeniable public outcry that will force a change. Till then we're moving inexorably toward a point of no return. At least humans can put on a jacket or turn on the air conditioning for awhile, but the plants and animals on our planet will head for wholesale extinctions.

    It's by far the greatest tragedy of our time. You'd think by the twenty-first century that human reason and scientific method would dominate. Clearly, it has no sway.

    "...be still, and cry not aloud; for it is an unholy thing to boast over slain men." Odysseus, in Homer's Odyssey

    by Wildthumb on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 05:50:43 PM PST

  •  The evidence is nothing short of overwhelming... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    When the 10 warmest years on record all fall within the last 15 years out of over a century of record keeping, it is not some unique statistical anomaly, it is a pattern.

  •  Laurence, well done... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    A really good diary.

    I am one that thinks we are too late to do anything to actually slow and/or stop climate change. We should have started that at least 40 or 50 years ago...if not even farther back...That said, I am also of the belief that Humanity can and must learn to adapt to the changes that will come. We have done it in the past, we can do it now.

    We cannot fight the MegaCorps and their Media Minions or their bought and paid for politicians... But we can make changes in our own lives, our own neighborhoods, and in our own communities. This is something that must be led from the bottom up... WE need to focus on survival...not all of this bickering.... It's a total wast of time and energy.

    And we will never, ever change the minds of those truly in denial, either for personal gain, or out of ignorance...
    The ONLY thing that will change their minds is when it really starts to effect them. Mother Nature will be a harsh teacher.

    Our best bet, IMO, is to have answers ready to go when all hell breaks lose. Be the first one on your block or in your town to have a private source of energy...or a way to capture rain for personal use. Be the catalyst for eating local, and an advocate for neighborhood gardens for fresh, in season vegetables. Be the source that people turn to for ideas when the deniers have nothing to offer.

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abby

    by SaraBeth on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 03:55:50 AM PST

  •  We're into adaptation not mitigation now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SaraBeth

    Thanks for putting this together. I will find it handy. It is sobering to find that after all of this time (20 plus years) we're still having the debate about whether or not AGW is occurring. That debate has delayed action on emissions reduction to the point where now what we have to think about is when in the future significant climate-related impacts will occur and how severe they'll be. Reversing the climbing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is probably impossible now. There's still a need to push for emissions reduction, because +3 degrees C global average in a century is better than +6 degrees.
    However, these days, I'm focusing my attention on adaptation and community resilience.

    For the record, energy development and use is probably a more urgent concern than AGW - even with shale gas and tar sands development, the famines will probably arrive a generation before the climate impacts.

    "The air is the air. What can be done?" Tpau of Vulcan

    by JLowe on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 05:05:57 AM PST

  •  Well done (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    Laurence,

    I deal with these issues all day every day and your collection of statements from the major scientific bodies is very good. There are a few others out there that I'll try to remember to post them, but this is pretty comprehensive. You'd think after that many quotes we wouldn't need more, but the deniers just won't quit.

  •  Peter Gleick is in deep doodoo. (0+ / 0-)

    Ironic that he is the AGU ethics and integrity man.

  •  Detailed climate change consensus list (0+ / 0-)

    I maintain a detailed consensus list at the following location for those interested:

    The Climate Change Consensus

  •  Communicating to people (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for posting this. See the Yale center on communicating climate change. We need to know more about how people from their opinions. I think the importance of trying to communicate the scientific facts concerning climate change is probably vastly overstated, and has been overemphasized. I'm a "contagion" believer- that people tend to believe what is most commonly believed among their peer group/family, and what is communicated from multiple  trusted sources they are familiar with. The Swedish Science Academy, and the like, are probably not those trusted sources.

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