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2015 SkS Weekly Digest #25

Posted on 24 June 2015 by John Hartz

SkS Highlights

Eight things we learned from the pope's climate change encyclicalby Adam Vaughan attracted the most comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Vaughan 's article originally appeared in The Guardian and can be accessed by clicking hereThe latest global temperature data are breaking records by John Abraham garnered the second highest number of comments. Needless to say, both articles are extremely topical.

Toon of the Week

2015 Toon 25 

Hat tip to I Heart Climate Scientists

Quote of the Week

The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all. At the global level, it is a complex system linked to many of the essential conditions for human life. A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events, even if a scientifically determinable cause cannot be assigned to each particular phenomenon. Humanity is called to recognise the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it. It is true that there are other factors (such as volcanic activity, variations in the Earth’s orbit and axis, the solar cycle), yet a number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides and others) released mainly as a result of human activity. Concentrated in the atmosphere, these gases do not allow the warmth of the sun’s rays reflected by the Earth to be dispersed in space. The problem is aggravated by a model of development based on the intensive use of fossil fuels, which is at the heart of the worldwide energy system. Another determining factor has been an increase in changed uses of the soil, principally deforestation for agricultural purposes.

- Pope Francis, Laudato Si

'Climate Is a Common Good': Pope Francis calls for justice on warming planet by John Quealy, Commom Dreams, June 18, 2015

SkS in the News

John Cook's Denial 101 article and video, Busting myths: a practical guide to countering science denial, orignally posted in the Conversation continues to be reposted by numerous websites throughout the world.

SkS Spotlights

Global Sustainability Institute (GSI) of Anglia Ruskin University

Delivering sustainability requires an integrated view of the world. The GSI is committed to playing a key role in the development of practical solutions to the challenges facing humanity. Key to this is the bringing together of information needed to make decisions with the people capable of implementing action.

The GSI's research focuses on personal motivations and systems change set against the challenges of sustainability. Our core research question is how does the system influence the individual, and how does the individual influence the system? The 'system' is the political, financial, industrial and social frameworks that contribute to challenges we face and lock us into future pathways. These may be environmental challenges such as climate change, natural capital challenges such as resource limits or social challenges such as local and global inequity.

The GSI four key areas of research which focus on (i) personal motivations and (ii) systems change, set against the challenges of sustainability:

The GSI has built a global reputation for its research with major publications in communication of climate science, policy and climate finance. We have partnerships with business, not-for-profit organisations, the UK Government, EU Commission and the United Nations as well as UK research council-funded projects. 

Coming Soon on SkS

  • New study links global warming to Hurricane Sandy and other extreme weather events (John Abraham)
  • The Carbon Brief Interview: Christiana Figueres (Leo Hickman)
  • Climate denial linked to conspiratorial thinking in new study (Dana)
  • 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #26A (John Hartz)
  • Why warmer storms could lead to more flooding than expected (Conrad Wasko & Ashish Sharma)
  • Secretive donors gave US climate denial groups $125m over three years (Suzanne Goldenberg & Helena Bengtsson)
  • 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #26B (John Hartz)
  • 2015 SkS Weekly Digest #26 (John Hartz)

Poster of the Week

2015 Poster 25 

SkS Week in Review

97 Hours of Consensus: Paul Shepson

97 Hours: Paul Shepson


Paul Shepson's bio page & Quote source

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Comments 1 to 6:

  1. made a new column "Climate For Change", prominently visible on their home page, above other columns, right under latest news.

    Many of the articles therein reference myth debunking from SkS.

    It's good that some mainstream press is doing correct, unbiased reporting of climate science. I only wish that others follow that example.

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  2. If compassion and science were the ingredients of Bergoglio's "climate change encyclical", what ingredients went into the part of the encyclical about abortion and birth control, which he explicitly linked to our environmental struggles? Neither compassion nor science.

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  3. This sudden lovefest with the Pope has me scratching my head. Yes, it's nice that he agrees that AGW is real - that's better than denial. But if the Pope wants some real action to solve the problem instead of just spouting some nice words, he can use his power as the head of the Catholic church to lift the Papal ban on birth control. Doing so would instantly improve the lives of millions of Catholics and is as much a human rights issue as it is an environmental issue.

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  4. Paraquat: Pope Francis is using his moral authority to convince world leaders to commit to taking meaningful action on mitigating manmade climate change when they meet in Paris in December.  This is a significant and potentially a "game-changing" initiative.

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  5. Paraquat... This is a lot more than just "nice." As John said, it's potentially game changing. He couching this as a global moral issue, which it is. And not only that, he's primarly speaking to many millions of people whom have previously been uninvolved, or at least dispassionate about, climate change.

    The Pope knows his audience. I'm excited he's taking on climate change and will happily allow him to tend his flock as he sees best. 

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  6. @3, while you have a point about birth control you are also saying he has no right to talk about climate change as a market failure.

     One of the biggest themes of the bible was market failure due to human failure and you are trying to make people forget that point.

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