2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #2

Story of the Week... Opinion of the Week... El Niño/La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... SkS Spotlights... Video of the Week... Report of Note... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... 97 Hours of Consensus...

Story of the Week...

 Exxon Ramps Up Free Speech Argument in Fighting Climate Fraud Investigations

The oil giant wants a court to block state investigations into whether it misled investors on climate change, while it continues to promote a degree of uncertainty.

 ExxonMobile Refinery

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced in 2015 that his office was investigating whether Exxon misled investors about climate change-related risks. Credit: Joel Sagget/Getty Images 

ExxonMobil turned the volume back up this week in its ongoing fight to block two states' investigations into what it told investors about climate change risk, asserting once again that its First Amendment rights are being violated by politically motivated efforts to muzzle it.

In a 45-page document filed in federal court in New York, the oil giant continued to denounce New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey for what it called illegal investigations.

"Attorneys General, acting individually and as members of an unlawful conspiracy, determined that certain speech about climate change presented a barrier to their policy objectives, identified ExxonMobil as one source of that speech, launched investigations based on the thinnest of pretexts to impose costs and burdens on ExxonMobil for having spoken, and hoped their official actions would shift public discourse about climate policy," Exxon's lawyers wrote.

Healey and Schneiderman are challenging Exxon's demand for a halt to their investigations into how much of what Exxon knew about climate change was disclosed to shareholders and consumers.

The two attorneys general have consistently maintained they are not trying to impose their will on Exxon in regard to climate change, but rather are exercising their power to protect their constituents from fraud. They have until Jan. 19 to respond to Exxon's latest filing.

Exxon Ramps Up Free Speech Argument in Fighting Climate Fraud Investigations by David Hasmyer, InsideClimate News, Jan 13, 2018 

Opinion of the Week...

Climate Change in My Backyard

New York Times Graphic

On Tuesday morning, half an inch of water fell in nearby Montecito — half an inch in five minutes. Even in the best of conditions, this pace could cause flooding. But it wasn’t the best of conditions. Last month, we endured the largest wildfire in California history.

For two and a half weeks straight, the fire burned closer every day. Air quality turned unhealthy and forced schools to close. Businesses had to shut their doors during the peak holiday season. The local economy was decimated. I moved out of my home for weeks, as did many others. But at least I had a home to return to. Hundreds of others lost theirs. Thousands more lost their livelihoods. As a climate policy researcher, I was seeing the consequences of climate inaction in my own backyard.

Life was just beginning to get back to normal when the rains came this week, hard and fast. The scorched land could not absorb the water, and so the mudslides began.

Climate Change in My Backyard, Opinion by Leah C Stokes, New York Times, Jan 11, 2018

Leah C. Stokes is an assistant professor of political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

El Niño/La Niña Update

January 2018 La Niña update: summiting the peak

Now that we are smack dab in the middle of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the time of year when ENSO tends to have its more reliable impacts in the United States, it’s go-time for paying attention to what’s going on in the Pacific. And the latest CPC/IRI ENSO forecast says…[drum roll please]…La Niña is here to stay for this winter with a 85-95% probability before transitioning to ENSO-Neutral conditions during the spring.

Sidenote: Also, who is this person writing this post who is definitely not Emily? I’m Tom and I’m filling in for Emily this month (see footnote for Emily’s whereabouts). And just like a normal substitute teacher, don’t be surprised if I end this article early and just make you watch a video. So buckle up!

Sea Surface Temp Anomalies Dec 2017 NOAA

December 2017 sea surface temperature departure from the 1981-2010 average. Graphic by climate.gov; data from NOAA’s Environmental Visualization Lab.

January 2018 La Niña update: summiting the peak by Tom Di Liberto, ENSO Blog, NOAA's Climate.gov, Jan 11, 2018 

Also see the Video of the Week section of this document. 

Toon of the Week...

2018 Toon 2 

Quote of the Week...

“If people demand iron-clad proof that humans are changing the climate, then we can’t react,”Gutzler* said. “But from my perspective, there has been such a mountain of evidence — to toss all that out because there are uncertainties would be choosing stupidity.”

UNM meteorologist says Southwest ‘on front lines … of climate change’ by Rebecca Moss, The New Mexican, Jan 6, 2018

*David Gutzler, Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at University of New Mexico

Graphic of the Week...

These Climate Change Emojis Are Peak 2018

Climate Change Emojis 

When Marina Zurkow, an environmental artist and professor at New York University, embarked on designing a set of climate change-themed emojis, every little detail was intentional. She didn’t hold back one bit.

Released in October, the current Climoji sticker set, available for Apple and Android users, paints a pretty grim picture of what climate change looks like. The set includes emojis of dying, starved animals, pollution, extreme weather, and even drowning people—not exactly a hopeful outlook, but that was kind of the point, said Zurkow.

“We felt like one of the big problems is people don’t call climate change what it is,” Zurkow told Earther. “People don’t connect to the outcomes of a lot of anthropogenic destruction that we all participate in a really everyday way.?” 

These Climate Change Emojis Are Peak 2018 by Yessenia Funes, Justice, Earther, Jan 11, 2018

SkS Spotlights...

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Video of the Week...

The above video is embedded in:

January 2018 La Niña update: summiting the peak by Tom Di Liberto, ENSO Blog, NOAA's Climate.gov, Jan 11, 2018 

Reports of Note...

Assessment of the Potential Health Impacts of Climate Change in Alaska

Coming Soon on SkS...

Poster of the Week...

 2018 Poster 2

SkS Week in Review... 

97 Hours of Consensus...

97 Hours: James McCarthy 


James McCarthy's bio page

Quote derived from:

"[A]ll the professional societies of climatologists, meteorologists, oceanographers that have ever looked at this problem have made very consistent statements that climate is changing, it's changing in unusual ways, and the only way that change can be explained is as a result of human activities. Most people have no idea that something between 95 and 100 % of climate scientists completely agree with that statement." 

High resolution JPEG (1024 pixels wide)

Posted by John Hartz on Sunday, 14 January, 2018

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