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2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #44

Posted on 1 November 2020 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week...

Story of the Week...

Greta Thunberg reflects on living through multiple crises in a 'post-truth society'

In an exclusive interview with National Geographic, the teen climate activist considers the successes of the youth climate movement and the challenges it will face.

Greta Thunberg

Since her first sit-in outside the Swedish parliament building more than two years ago, Greta Thunberg’s fundamental message has been clear and unchanging: The climate crisis is humanity’s greatest existential threat and we need to treat it as such. That message inspired millions of young activists to protest for change and led to a series of viral speeches that have defined Thunberg’s global fame. She was Time’s 2019 Person of the Year and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize two years in a row.

Now, though, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic—a global crisis of a much different nature—and the looming threat of the U.S. backing out of the Paris Agreement, the 17-year-old activist is back at school in Sweden. National Geographic spoke with Thunberg via Zoom about how her activism has changed over the past year, and how her message might survive an increasingly complex world. (This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity).

Click here to access the entire article as originally posted on the National Geographic website.

Greta Thunberg reflects on living through multiple crises in a 'post-truth society' by Oliver Whang, Environment, National Geographic, Oct 28, 2020 


Opinion of the Week...

Strangers in a room, hammering out climate solutions together

Meaningful climate action requires people’s consent and participation. How to make that happen? Ask them.

Electric vehicle charging station in London

An electric car charging station in London. Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Marc Robson’s grandfather, a coal miner in the northeast of England, lost his job when the pits closed in the 1980s. “They were left with no retraining, no re-skilling,” Robson says. “They just had to go off and find jobs elsewhere.” This experience shaped Robson’s family, and, nearly 40 years later, it shaped his contribution to a fascinating experiment in democracy: Climate Assembly UK.

Robson was one of 108 people who took part in the Assembly, which was commissioned by the UK’s Parliament. The idea behind it was simple and bold: Let the people decide how their country should meet its climate ambitions. As a group, the 108 participants mirrored their country in terms of age, gender, social background, and attitudes about climate change — including those who said they were “not at all concerned.” Over a series of weekends, at first meeting in person and then online after COVID-19 struck, they listened to expert evidence, discussed their own views and experiences, and then developed a set of recommendations to present to politicians. As an academic working on climate governance, I was pleased to have a role as an “expert lead,” managing the Assembly and advising the citizens.

Click here to access the entire opinion piece as published on the Boston Globe website.

Strangers in a room, hammering out climate solutions together, Opinion by Rebecca Willis, Boston Globe, Oct 19, 2020


Toon of the Week...

2020 Toon 44 

Hat tip to the Stop Climate Science Denial Facebook page.


Climate Feedback Article Review...

Guardian article on Arctic methane emissions claiming “a new climate feedback loop may have been triggered” lacks important context

2020 Climate Feedback 44 

Analysis of "'Sleeping giant' Arctic methane deposits starting to release, scientists find"
Published in , by  on 27 Oct. 2020

Four scientists analyzed the article and estimate its overall scientific credibility to be 'low'.

A majority of reviewers tagged the article as: .

Click here to access the entire detailed review as originally published on the Climate Feedback website. 

Guardian article on Arctic methane emissions claiming “a new climate feedback loop may have been triggered” lacks important context, Edited by Scott Johnson, Climate Feedback Reviews, Oct 30, 2020


Coming Soon on SkS...

  • How you can help to keep Climate misinformation on Twitter in check (Yann Gager)
  • Announcing Model Language for Scientific Integrity Policies (CSLDF)
  • SkS New Research for Week #44 (Doug Bostrom)
  • US Back on Track with Reneged Paris Targets (Dana)
  • On climate clock, it's parts per million, not minutes, that matter most (Bud Ward)
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #45 (John Hartz)
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #45 (John Hartz)

Climate Feedback Claim Review...

Sea ice loss due to climate change is the biggest threat to polar bear survival and has already led to declines in some polar bear subpopulations, contrary to “Climate Realism” video message

CLAIM: “In 1950, there were around 10,000 polar bears globally. Today, polar bear populations are near 39,000. Polar bear populations are increasing dramatically as the planet has warmed.”

VERDICT: Misleading

SOURCE:  , 23 Oct. 2020   

KEY TAKE AWAY: Loss of sea ice habitat caused by climate change is the most important threat to the long term survival of polar bears. Of the 19 subpopulations of polar bears, two have already experienced declines due to losses in sea ice. It is difficult to estimate trends in the global polar bear population; however, trends at the subpopulation level from 2019 show that four subpopulations declined, five were stable, and only two increased.

Click here to access the entire detailed review as originally published on the Climate Feedback website. 

Sea ice loss due to climate change is the biggest threat to polar bear survival and has already led to declines in some polar bear subpopulations, contrary to “Climate Realism” video message, Edited by Nikki Forrester, Claims Review, Climate Feedback, Oct 29, 2020


SkS Week in Review... 


Poster of the Week...

2020 Poster 44

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