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2013 SkS Weekly Digest #8

Posted on 24 February 2013 by John Hartz

SkS Highlights

2013 Arctic Sea Ice Extent Prediction by Dana & Dikran Marsupial  garnered the most comments of the articles posted this past week. Many readers were compelled to make their own predicitions. You may want to add yours.

Dana continued to stir the pot with two other postings — In Wall Street Journal op-ed, Bjorn Lomborg urges delay with misleading stats and Low emissions are no justification for Kansas scaling back renewables.

Given the historical significance of the Forward on Climate rallies convened in many US cities on Sunday, Feb 17, John Hartz  produced the 2013 SkS News Bulletin #1: Alberta Tar Sands, Keystone XL Pipeline, and Forward on Climate Rally. If you particpated in one of the rallies, you are encouraged to post a comment about it.

Toon of the Week

The Sisyphean Challenge Of Climate Change Denialism

2013 Toon #8

Reprinted with permission of Media Matters. Click here to access the original posting.

Quote of the Week

"Lots of people in the environmental movement shunned direct action for a long time, with a notion that it's 'unprofessional' or that it could alienate and marginalize our position," Matt Leonard, who coordinates 350's US action team, said Sunday. "I think that history has always shown the exact opposite. I don't think you can name a major social movement that's won a substantial victory that hasn't raised direct action as not just a core tactic, but as a strategy around community self-empowerment, transforming power and reclaiming power."

Forward on Climate: The Slightest Glimmer of Hope for the Planet by Candice Bernd, Truthout | Op-Ed, Feb 22, 2013 

The Week in Review

Coming Soon

  • Did Murdoch's The Australian Misrepresent IPCC Chair Pachauri on Global Warming? (Dana)
  • How big is the “carbon fertilization effect”? (gws)
  • China Takes a Leading Role in Solving Climate Change (Dana)
  • Living in Denial in Norway (Andy Skuce)
  • Living in Denial in Canada (Andy Skuce)
  • Drost, Karoly, and Braganza Find Human Fingerprints in Global Warming (Dana)
  • 2013 SkS News Roundup (John Hartz)

In the Works

  • Carbon Dioxide the Dominant Control on Global Temperature and Sea Level Over the Last 40 Million Years (Rob Painting)
  • New Study, Same Result - Greenhouse Gases Dominate Global Warming (Dana)
  • What doesn’t change with climate? (Ari Jokimäki)
  • A tale told in maps and charts: Texas in the National Climate Assessment (Dana)
  • Recursive Fury: conspiracy theorists respond to evidence that they’re conspiracy theorists with more conspiracy theories (John Cook)
  • How We Know Cosmic Rays are Not Causing Global Warming, In One Simple Graph (Dana)
  • Residence Time and Prof Essenhigh (Glenton Jelbert)
  • New satellite confirms dramatic thinning of Arctic ice (MarkR)
  • Lomborg's Irresponsible Conclusions (Agnostic)
  • Offline-friendly content added to Skeptical Science emporium (doug_bostrom)

SkS in the News

Dana's Low emissions are no justification for Kansas scaling back renewables was published in The Guardian and re-posted by Scott Brophy.

John Cook's There is no such thing as climate change denial was published at The Conversation and re-posted at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Brisbane Times, The Age, The North Queensland Register, New Anthropocene, Renew EconomyBayside Bulletin, Tumblr, Climate Spectator, Random Musings, and Science on the Land.

Justin Gillis discussed Lewandowsky and Cook's Recursive Fury paper at New York Times Green.

Greg Laden asked everyone that they please educate themselves on Keystone, referencing Dana's An Updated Look at What Keystone XL and Alberta Tar Sands Mean for the Climate among many good posts on the subject.  Calitics also referenced this post.

Sirius XM Radio host Pete Dominick endorsed SkS on CNN.

Dr. Roger Jones reference Dana's Resolving Confusion Over the Met Office Statement and Continued Global Warming at The Conversation.

OurWorld 2.0 referenced John Mason's The Great Disconnect: the human disease of which climate change is but one symptom.

Gneissgirl endorsed the SkS myth debunking smartphone Apps.

SkS Spotlights

The German federal government set up the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) as an independent, scientific advisory body in 1992 in the run-up to the Rio Earth Summit. The Council's principal tasks are to:

  • analyse global environment and development problems and report on these,
  • review and evaluate national and international research in the field of global change,
  • provide early warning of new issue areas,
  • identify gaps in research and to initiate new research,
  • monitor and assess national and international policies for the achievement of sustainable development,
  • elaborate recommendations for action and research, and
  • raise public awareness and heighten the media profile of global change issues.

WBGU publishes flagship reports every two years, making its own choice of focal theme. In addition, the German government can commission the Council to prepare special reports and policy papers.

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Comments 1 to 7:

  1. Regarding the WBGU (in the SkS spotlight above), although I am only about halfway through the lecture series based on the flagship report World in Transition: A Social Contract for Sustainability, I highly recommend the lectures for those who are interested not only in the science of climate but also in practical steps that may result in avoiding the worst consequences. I am currently on page 171 of the 420-page pdf file of the report (reading as time permits). This is pretty basic stuff (by basic, I mean not necessarily simple but fundamental). The lecture series is apparently designed as a German university course, but the lectures are in English. If there is interest, I could post a list of the 30+ YouTube links to the lectures. If you are only interested in the science behind current global warming, then Lecture 3 by Prof. Stefan Rahmstorf is quite good, in my opinion. In particular, Episode 1 of Lecture 3: WBGU - World in Transition - L03E01 - Prof. Stefan Rahmstorf, Ph.D. (31:47). The SKS spotlight shines on some pretty good stuff! IMHO

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  2. This is to note that I have resigned from formal involvement in SkS over differences regarding strategy.

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  3. @Tom Curtis #2:

    Thank you all of the time and effort that you have donated to Skeptical Science over the years.

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  4. I would like to echo John Hartz' comment @3 and thank you, Tom Curtis, for your efforts here at Skeptical Science. Anytime I see a long comment by you in a post, I know I can look forward to a clear, incisive argument that either carefully builds up the case for the science or demolishes some (set of) pseudoskeptic claim(s).

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  5. Well that sucks, Tom.  I hope it won't mean an end to your surgical debunkings.  Your critical thinking skill is inspiring and, I think . . . I hope, contagious.

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  6. I am sorry to hear that Tom. I'll echo others to thank you for most valuable contribution to the site, you will be missed.

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  7. Skeptical science does well in debunking the denialist/luke-warmer machinations, does anyone know if there is a site that would do the same for overtly alarmistic claims? As an excercise I did a story here, that would need some debunking. Trying to keep some connection to reality, like the luke-warmers do, I inserted some links to it too. At least, the speed of methane release is likely wrong and thus the whole story is off by many years, but what else? 

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