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2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #17

Posted on 25 April 2020 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Apr 19 through Sat, Apr 25, 2020

Editor's Choice

I Am a Mad Scientist

Dr Kate Marvel

I’ve heard it a couple times already, from a journalist, a family friend, a neighbor: You must be happy about all of this. The implication is that because I’m a climate scientist, I must be excited about this time of reduced economic activity and greenhouse emissions. The Earth is healing, they say. Nature is returning. Why wouldn’t I be glad about it?

Friends, I’m definitely not happy. I’m not even sad. What I am, more than anything, is angry.

I’m angry at the very idea that there might be a silver lining in all this. There is not. Carbon dioxide is so long-lived in the atmosphere that a small decrease in emissions will not register against the overwhelming increase since the start of the Industrial Revolution. All this suffering will not make the planet any cooler. If the air quality is better now, if fewer people die from breathing in pollution, this is not a welcome development so much as an indictment of the way things were before.

I Am a Mad Scientist by Kate Marvel, Drilled News, Apr 22, 2020

Click here to access the entire article as originally published on the Drilled News website.

Articles Linked to on Facebook

Sun, Apr 19, 2020

Mon, Apr 20, 2020

Tue, Apr 21, 2020

Wed, Apr 22, 2020

Thu, Apr 23, 2020

Fri, Apr 24, 2020

Sat, Apr 25, 2020

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Comments 1 to 6:

  1. Hi folks,

    You might have heard of Michael Moore's new film, "Planet of the Humans". Unfortunately, this movie is grossly flawed. Please find reviews here spotted by videographer Peter Sinclair:

    Planet of the Stupid

    Moore No Mas: New Film Drinks the Lysol

    Stay safe!

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  2. Sir Charles,

    I have noticed The Usual Suspects cherry-picking the incorect or misleading bits from "Planet of the Humans" and using them as the basis for even more misleading or incorrect claims to attack and discredit the entire Realm of Environmental Protection.

    I have also noticed that many people are able to correct the misleading comments in many ways, with the response to the corrections being the usual denial that the corrections are legitimate.

    Reasoning motivated by Personal Interest can be incredibly harmfully incorrect and very resistant to expanded awareness and improved understanding.

    This is often observed in the games of economics and politics, competitions for Impressions of Winning any way that can be gotten away with. It even influences thinking related to Sports, especially when Big Perceptions of Reward are at stake.

    People who have developed a Devotion to an Activity, Sport, Team or Ideology can get Locked-In to narrow-minded short-term thinking and seek made-up excuses for all types of understandably unacceptable behaviours.

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  3. The air is clean, the sky bright blue, and it is quiet because traffic is now minimal. Granted it is a small sample size, but I have noticed a good sign for the climate/environment from this pandemic. My neighbor is now welcoming the idea of changing quickly to electric vehicles charged by wind and solar. A friend is accepting the reality of human-induced climate change. Let’s hope others follow these complete changes in perspective.

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  4. Moore's movie discards renewable energy as a solution and instead the solution proposed is much lower energy use and slower population growth. Well that doesn't make much sense to me, because even the most optimistic projections of population growth falling arent fast enough to do that much to help the climate, and its unrealistic to expect people to slash their energy use by truly vast amounts. Obviously slower population gowth and lower energy use would help a bit, but are nowhere near sufficient answers. So we need renewable energy or at least clean energy ( maybe a tiny bit of nuclear power is ok as well).

    Michael Moores motivations look political to me. He is a known sceptic of capitalism and elites, and has taken this to the point of absurdity of dismissing renewable energy because its associated with capitalism and elites. He is doing the mirror image of what denialists do in dismissing renewable energy because they hate the green movements left leaning politics.

    This is sad because his movies are normally good value, and scepticism of elites is justified. 

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  5. nigelj,

    Efforts to limit the growth of the population are important. More than 12 billion humans would likely be Unsustainable for many reasons.

    And the total amount of energy consumed by the total human population needs to be reduced, because there is material consumption and negative impacts associated with any energy generation, even the renewables. And the less fortunate portion of the population will be developing towards the better lives lived by the more fortunate people. It would be completely unacceptable for the more fortunate to live in ways that the less fortunate have to be kept from living.

    So the understandable requirements become the combination of:

    • The production of energy for human use completely transitioned to renewable sources.
    • Reduced amount of total energy consumption by humans, with the less fortunate people expected and assisted to develop to live like the more fortunate people. So the more fortunate people need to set the example of lower and totally renewable energy consumption ways of living.
    • Reduced total amount of other consumption by the total human population, with the more fortunate leading by example.
    • Limited human population growth, again with the more fortunate leading by example.

    Moore's movie pretending that the solution could be 'fossil fuel energy used by a reduced population living with less energy' is indeed not practical. It is also not required.

    What is required is achieving the entire set of Sustainable Development Goals. And that requires everything I have presented.

    I continue to be amazed to see "Social Change Activists" appear to cherry-pick favorite issues while failing to present the importance of achieving and improving on the already established awareness and understanding of things like the entire suite of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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  6. The NYT "Climate" desk has completed presenting a series of articles on Climate Change matters as part of the recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the first Earth Day.

    A crash course on climate change, 50 years after the first Earth Day

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