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2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #47

Posted on 24 November 2019 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Nov 17 through Sat, Nov 23, 2019

Editor's Pick

The climate science is clear: it's now or never to avert catastrophe

Disastrous global heating will soon become irrevocable – but despite politicians’ inaction millions are taking to the streets to fight the planet’s fever

Greta Thunberg

Illustration: Francisco Navas/Guardian Design

The one thing never to forget about global warming is that it’s a timed test.

It’s ignoble and dangerous to delay progress on any important issue, of course – if, in 2020, America continues to ignore the healthcare needs of many of its citizens, those people will sicken, die, go bankrupt. The damage will be very real. But that damage won’t make it harder, come 2021 or 2025 or 2030, to do the right thing about healthcare.

But the climate crisis doesn’t work like that. If we don’t solve it soon, we will never solve it, because we will pass a series of irrevocable tipping points – and we’re clearly now approaching those deadlines. You can tell because there’s half as much ice in the Arctic, and because forests catch fire with heartbreaking regularity and because we see record deluge. But the deadlines are not just impressionistic – they’re rooted in the latest science.

The climate science is clear: it's now or never to avert catastrophe, Opinion by Bill McKibben, Comment is Free, Guardian, Nov 20, 2019

Click here to access the entire article as posted on the Guardian website. 

Articles Linked to on Facebook

Sun Nov 17, 2019

Mon Nov 18, 2019

Tue Nov 19, 2019

Wed Nov 20, 2019

Thu Nov 21, 2019

Fri Nov 22, 2019

Sat Nov 23, 2019

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Comments 1 to 7:

  1. The Guardian article is their usual good quality,  except this could have been worded better: "You can tell because there’s half as much ice in the Arctic, and because forests catch fire with heartbreaking regularity and because we see record deluge. " Climate change isn't causing forest fires, thats caused by lightening strikes, arson and felling forests whether legal or illegal. Climate change just makes for hotter and drier conditions and possibly more intense winds that lead to larger than normal areas being burned.

    Don't give the denialists such easy mistakes and targets to attack.

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Technically speaking, the Editor's Pick is not a "Guardian article" Rather it is an opinion piece written by Bill McKibben and published by the Guardian in its Comment is Free Section. 

  2. News Roundup back again! :-))) (thanks, John!).
    I read new research and news roundup regularly and share often.
    Both help to broaden my view so much ..

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] You're welcome Jonas. The hiatus in publication of the News Roundup was caused by a 30-day stint I recently spent in Facebook jail.  

  3. What nobody wants to acknowledge in calculating the "costs", is that beyond certain tipping points, we may no longer have the wherewithal to put our energy supply on a more permanent basis. Even if there were no CO² problem, fossil fuels will run out and we need a more sustainable basis for energy supply, so little is lost by investing in it earlier.

    How likely are we to engage in negative CO² emissions without stable renewable sources of energy?

    We should be diverting all global military spending to making progress on this front, since it is an inevitable obstacle, even absent climate change.

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  4. nigelj @1,

    Climate Change may be causing changes of conditions that make it 'easier' for the 'Fire-starters' you mention to actually start a fire, as well as making the resulting fire spread quicker and do more damage.

    If that is the case then Climate Change does 'cause' forest fires that would not have started without the change of climate, or causes a more damaging fire to occur.

    The people fighting to resist the required corrections of the global economy, and the resulting corrections of perceptions of prosperity and superiority, will create harmful misleading Fictions no matter how the expanded awareness and improving understanding is presented (they will harmfully fight their losing battle against improved awareness and understanding to the bitter end).

    The key is getting the expanded awareness and improved understanding presented more than all of the many Fictions that are created to try to fight against it. Being confronted with the Non-Fiction often enough should cause many people to Correct their Understanding and stop believing the Fictions. They should also stop supporting or excusing the Fairy Tale Tellers and their remaining Believers.

    Once expanded awareness and improved understanding causes a person to stop believing the Fiction, they become immune to being tempted to re-Believe.

    And that will lead to a tipping-point that needs to be reached - the point when the harmfully correction resistant all end up Governed and Limited against their Wishes.

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  5. OPOF @4

    "Climate Change may be causing changes of conditions that make it 'easier' for the 'Fire-starters' you mention to actually start a fire".

    I did wonder about that, and its technically correct, but surely it's of little consequence and so it means the article detracts from the most important facts about climate change causing larger areas to burn . The warming we have seen so far seems unlikely that it would cause many more fires to start. The temperatures and moisture levels in the fire season are very different to winter enough to make a significant difference.

    It's a similar issue as to whether climate change causes a particular weather event. It does sometimes but its a difficult thing to prove and it distracts from the key fact that climate change causes more intense or frequent events, and this is easier to substantiate.

    Yes maybe its not the main point, but it just annoys me. I also wouldn't underestimate how much climategate pushed things backwards even although it was about specific denialist talking points. But I agree we need a more general philosophical awareness raising circuit breaker so people can see through all the smoke and haze. Pun not intended.

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  6. I agree it would be counter-productive to argue about the specifics of climate change impacts. The Fiction writers and Fans will see any discussion as a basis for claiming that nothing is certain enough to require serious corrective action "by Them".

    However, my mind was putting together the extremely high winds and dry conditions in California that combined to start more than one fire, last year and this year, by blowing down power lines. That seems to be new fire-starting behaviour due to the change of climate in California.

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  7. Excellent video on climate economics. From economist Professor Steve Keen.

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