Thursday, November 14, 2019

G'Day - Not today, mate!

Sou | 10:54 PM Go to the first of 56 comments. Add a comment
Australia's politicians from the Liberal, National and Labor parties all vow that now isn't the right time to talk about climate change.

Soon there'll be not the tiniest gap between the droughts, fires, heat waves and floods so they'll be saved from ever having to talk about climate change and what they aren't doing about it.

Courtesy of Australia's national broadcaster:

If you're wondering about some of the references, here's a guide:

  • Karl Stefanovic - I don't know who he is (I don't watch television). I gather he's some tv host who's changed time slots or channels or something. You'll have to Google him if you're interested.
  • Dr Karl - is a popular Australian science lover who is in turn loved by many.
  • Quiet Australians - our Prime Minister Scott Morrison wants to silence any Australians who speak. He only want's to listen to "quiet Australians" because they say nothing, don't make his head hurt and don't interrupt him when he's singing in tongues to his god.

If only Scott Morrison would stop telling his god what to do and start listening to what his god's been telling him for the past few years: Millennium Drought, Canberra fires, Black Saturday fires, Alpine fires, big wets and big dries, dead fish, dried up rivers, towns out of water - and all the other weather catastrophes this century including the current ones.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

To fly or not? Fashion, peer pressure and societal impacts

Sou | 12:29 AM Go to the first of 33 comments. Add a comment
I don't think I've previously written about flight shame or flight shaming or whatever you want to call it and I see it occupies the minds of many people. So here are some random thoughts on the subject.

There are a lot of issues bound up in this. I'm not advocating anything one way or another. What an individual does to reduce their personal carbon footprint is their own decision. It's worth saying that multiple personal decisions can eventually add up to societal change. Also worth noting there is a lot of peer pressure involved, with some people arguing that flying is hypocritical or anti-social or whatever. This pressure can become a force for societal change as happened with smoking tobacco, sun-bathing, littering, recycling and other behaviours and attitudes over the years.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Climate scientists - respect, but don't be afraid of policy

Sou | 11:16 PM Go to the first of 15 comments. Add a comment
There has been some discussion in the Twittersphere about how or whether climate scientists should wade in on climate policy. I'm guessing that this is of most concern to early to mid-career scientists and/or academics who have not had much, if any, exposure to policy development. Some scientists at a senior level do get involved in providing policy input and advice, either through advancement (e.g. job promotion in a government agency) or by being co-opted onto one or more government advisory committees (e.g. senior academics).

Thought I'd add my two bobs worth since I've had some experience in the policy area.

The tweet that started the thread was from climate scientist Kate Marvel (and another here).

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

It's time to pull the plug on our long-running CO2 experiment

Sou | 3:06 PM Go to the first of 39 comments. Add a comment
In the last 140 years or so, humans have added almost 1,000,000,000,000 tonnes of CO2 to the air (equivalent), or 1,000 billion tonnes. It would have been more except for oceans and land absorbing around half of it.

We are adding a lot of CO2 to the air

This leads me to talk about one of the many misconceptions thrown around by climate disinformers. Some deniers wrongly claim our CO2 emissions add little to atmospheric CO2. How they could ever think that is a mystery. It's not a secret that CO2 is a product of burning hydrocarbons. (Some are very confused, mixing up various numbers they've heard and tossing them back together in strange and wrong patchwork.)

Friday, October 11, 2019

Denier quote of the day: Why should I waste 24 minutes..(learning climate)

Sou | 11:16 PM Go to the first of 10 comments. Add a comment
The Twitter conversations I've written about before is giving more insight into the denial crowd. The bots and trolls are ramping up as the US election campaign gears up. (It goes on forever, doesn't it. The election is still more than a year away.) Among the bots there are some real people. One of them was happy to summarise the denier's stance.

I wouldn't devote even 24 minutes to learn science

Someone put up a chart purporting to show CO2 and temperature going back 4.5 billion years. I doubt the person tweeting it understood it. They said they got the picture from another denier called Nasif Nahle, who even put a copyright on it! It didn't matter. According to deniers, the tweet was from an acceptable denier so it must mean the greenhouse effect is a hoax.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Do your bit - help with a survey of climate blog readers

Sou | 11:38 PM Go to the first of 10 comments. Add a comment
How about helping out some researchers by taking a survey of climate blog readers. It's for a project being done jointly by researchers at Cambridge University and Wageningen University. The results will be made available to me and every one who completes the survey so, with luck, we all might learn something and HotWhopper could be better for it. And before you ask, it has ethics approval and yes, the survey is anonymous, responses confidential etc etc.

It'll only take up to about 10 minutes or so. If you start and get interrupted, I'm told you can save where you're up to and finish it later.

So don't hold back - go for it. It's in a very good cause.


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Friday, October 4, 2019

A short primer on global energy flows, for the twitter deniers

Sou | 2:56 PM Go to the first of 35 comments. Add a comment
Energy balancing when no forcing
There have been two or three people on the climate denial conversation on Twitter who cannot conceptualise global energy flows. Remember, almost all the deniers in this particular conversation are greenhouse effect deniers who don't "believe" physics and chemistry. Nonetheless they've discovered a wonky diagram in the deniosphere somewhere and have asked how it works. The short answer is, it doesn't. Not the way it's portrayed in their diagram.

Dr Kevin Trenberth has kindly allowed me to publish this updated global energy flow schematic, which is about to be published. (I'll post the doi when it is available.) Here it is, with an explanation below:

Sunday, September 22, 2019

More twittery nonsense from climate disinformers: In fact, the world is heating up!

Sou | 1:00 PM Go to the first of 17 comments. Add a comment
There are one or two long-running denier conversations on Twitter. Here is another example of how they operate as illustrated by a tweeter called "StenchJudi".

Despite all the evidence showing the world is rapidly heating up, someone will tweet something outrageously wrong, such as "it's been cooling for twenty years". The only way they can rationalise such a ridiculous statement is by fudging the data, and claiming real observations are "fake".

The chart below shows how the global temperature has changed over the past twenty years, from 1999 to 2018:

There is no excuse for spreading disinformation about climate

Sou | 9:47 AM Go to the first of 2 comments. Add a comment
This is a personal note about how I consider hard-core deniers and disinformers to be as bad as the worst of the worst of humanity. They are comparable to Charles Manson, Timothy McVeigh and other horrors in that they want to harm people and take pleasure in the thought of civilisation destroying itself.

There is no excuse for anyone these days to doubt climate change or to not accept that we are causing it. In simple terms which everyone should know by now, we are burning more fossil fuel and adding more greenhouse gases to the air. This results in less energy going to space than is coming in from the sun. Our planet is heating up. Ice is melting, seas are rising, storms are more intense and heat waves are hotter. This is killing people, reducing our capacity to grow food, and causing a great deal of harm already. It will get worse before it gets better.

If a serial climate disinformer doesn't like being compared to mass murderers, then they should ask themselves why they are working so hard to bring about death and destruction. Or, they can change their behaviour and stop acting as if they want to. (Today there was a very unpleasant denier who objected to this comparison. He is a long term disinformer about climate change and has now been banned from this blog, so you won't see his comments or my response.) [Update: That particular disinformer just sent a comment to let me know he and his hard-core denier bloggers follow in the footsteps of "Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot...", or words to that effect.]

Just wanted to put that out there.

(See also: Marginalised, alienated and put upon: climate science deniers are not innocent)

Friday, September 20, 2019

Climate strike in Albury, Australia

Sou | 5:44 PM Go to the first of 8 comments. Add a comment
There are climate strikes all around the world in a wonderful display of unity and hope, tinged with hopelessness. In Albury, there were school students, infants, and adults of all ages and from all walks of life. The day was sunny and, as if it was sending a message, was the warmest day of September so far, recording 24.9 C (77F) at 2:30 pm, which is around 7 C above the average maximum for the month.

The students were an inspiration. They were knowledgeable and committed to taking Australians to task for not addressing climate change. The crowd was enthusiastic and supportive. After the event, you'd not know hundreds of people had assembled there - the lawns were probably more spotless after the event than before.