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2015 SkS Weekly Digest #38

Posted on 20 September 2015 by John Hartz

SkS Highlights... El Niño Watch... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... He Said What?... SkS in the News... SkS Spotlights... Poster of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... SkS Week in Review... and 97 Hours of Consensus

SkS Highlights

In a blind test, economists reject the notion of a global warming pause by John Abraham (Climate Consensus-the 97%, The Guardian) drew the most comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Exxon's Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels' Role in Global Warming Decades Ago by Neela Banerjee, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer (Inside Climate News) attracted the second highest. 

El Niño Watch

Toon of the Week

2015 Toon 38 

Hat tip to I Heart Climate Scientists

Quote of the Week

As the U.S. is the world's second biggest carbon emitter (after China), any hope of preventing the worst effects of climate change must include not only a strong commitment from Washington, but immediate and measurable action. What's exceedingly frustrating is that it can be done. “We have the knowledge and we have the tools for action to try to keep temperature increases within 2°C to give our planet a chance and to give our children and grandchildren a future," said World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. "Pleading ignorance can no longer be an excuse for not acting." He's right of course. But try telling that to a Republican.

How Republicans Made Climate Change America's Most Divisive Political Issue by Reynard Loki, Alterrnet, Sep 15, 2015

They Said What?

This story is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

The second Republican primary debate is tonight. It should be fun. It’s supposed to focus on foreign policy, so it could be an excellent opportunity to examine the global implications of climate change. What’s more, three of the show’s biggest stars have been running their mouths about global warming over the last few days.

Guess what? The things they said were dumb and wrong.

First up: The Donald (Trump). During a speech in Texas on Monday, Trump took aim at President Barack Obama’s oft-repeated (and true) claim that climate change is a major threat to America’s national security.

“They changed it to climate change because the word ‘global warming’ wasn’t working,” Trump said. “Then they changed it to extreme weather — you can’t get hurt with extreme weather.”

Next up, rising star Ben Carson, who has gained more in the polls over the last month than any other candidate and poses the biggest challenge to Trump tonight. Last week, he told the San Francisco Chronicle that “There is no overwhelming science that the things that are going on are man-caused and not naturally caused. Gimme a break.”

Actually, there is a ridiculously overwhelming amount of science that shows just that. And fortunately, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) was happy to share all that info with Carson:

Finally, there’s Carly Fiorina, the only candidate to be promoted from the “kid’s table” debate in August, to the grown-up table tonight, thanks to some good polling early in the month. In an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood published today, she trotted out the good old standby line that “a single nation acting alone can make no difference at all,” and that therefore the U.S. needs to stop “destroying peoples’ livelihoods on the altar of ideology.”

I guess she missed the news that the U.S., rather than acting alone, has actually been really successful in convincing China and other major polluters to take action.

Trump, Fiorina, and Carson just keep saying insane stuff about climate change by Tim McDonnell, Grist, Sep 16, 2015 

SkS in the News

Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literatureCook et al, Environmental Research Letter, 2013  is cited in the following articles: 

SkS Spotlights

Since 2009, the Climate Tracker initiative, as part of the Global Call for Climate Action, has identified and supported accomplished young climate activists with exceptional communications skills in publicly tracking their countries’ response to the climate change challenge – with a particular focus on the roles of their national governments in the context of UNFCCC negotiations. To date, the project has awarded over 75 fellowships to individuals from 35 countries and directly supported a wider network of thousands of climate activists and communicators with public communication trainings and action opportunities around the world.

Participants work to pressure governments and add capacity to the climate movement through: creating timely and actionable blogs and social media posts that help movement peers track governments’ roles; increasing the public’s understanding of climate issues and government positions through publishing work in relevant mainstream and trade media; and giving governments feedback – emphasizing perspectives & messaging from the climate movement – through direct engagement with government delegations, as well as through their blogs and mainstream media work.

Who are Climate Trackers?

Our network is made up thousands of young leaders, spanning almost every country in the world. They’re eager to better understand climate issue and advocate for solutions.

While the majority of our programs are designed for participants under the age of 30, who make up most of our network. However, many of our programs are open to anyone. 

Coming Soon on SkS

  • Tracking the 2C limit - August 2015 (Rob Honeycutt)
  • Climate change set to fuel more "monster" El Niños, scientists warn (Roz Pidcock)
  • Celebrated planet hunter shifts his sights to climate change on Earth (Dana)
  • Guest Post (John Abraham)
  • Drought stunts tree growth for four years, study says (Robert McSweeny)
  • 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #39 (John Hartz)
  • 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #39 (John Hartz)

Poster of the Week

2015 Poster 38 

SkS Week in Review

97 Hours of Consensus: Joanna Haig

97 Hours: Joanna Haig

Joanna Haigh's bio page

Quote derived with author's permission from:

"Carbon dioxide has probably not been this high in the atmosphere for 3 million years. We understand the greenhouse effect, so what more information do people want?"


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Comments 1 to 2:

  1. In May, China's statistical agency quietly raised estimates of how much coal the nation has burned since 2000. 


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  2. I dont know about "quietly". Problems with coal estimates from a grossly inefficient bureaucracy were uncovered by IEA in 2013 and they have steadily working on fixes since then. Big revision in 2015.

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