Archive for November, 2009

More On The Press And Global Climate Change

November 30, 2009

An argument can be made that I have given too much space on this blog to the Obama State Dinner crashers. My only response is that I see this as a clear example of a couples apparent narcisism at the expense of more important things to consider. The couples fault…some for sure.

The press is giving this couple and their “crashing” indescretions way too much air time at the expense of way more important, and I do mean important issues, like global climate change. There was more news on this couple today, five days after they crashed the president’s party. No news on global warming on the show I watched.

The same story can be written about the Tiger Woods auto crash…a buch of something about nothing…as our actions make a warmer earth and all has a chance of being overwhelmed by a changing climate as the party crashers fade into the oblivion of their 15 minutes of noteriety that was used up over 4 days ago…and Woods goes back to his golfing green to make more money…shame on us for watching on the press  writing a lot of nothing!!!!

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More On The News and Global Warming

November 29, 2009

The Obama “party crashers” made the Sunday news shows (at least the 2 I watched). Going to Coppenhagen as  a political mistake for the president was a news story that came after the Obama “party crashers”; news that has been running for 4 days.

A Politico Magazine editor said that if the economy being in the toilet was the featured news we (the US public) tended to be sceptical about the prospective good of things like Cap and Trade. Then we had to sit through more news on the dilletant “party  crashers”.  I say arrest the 2 of them, charge them for trespassing and be done with them. They might get some community service hours and it would be fateful if they had to work those hours with a non-profit set up to mitigate climate change…but that would be too good!!!

What was said by Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winning economist, was that 20 scientists might say that, we as a country, are starting to feel the global warming impact and 1 sceptic will be given equal time in the press as he/she spun against it.  Krugman also said global warming was too complex to be measured as increasing heat from year to year. I am glad at least 1 or maybe 4 writers are sane on this complex topic but writer’s like Eilperin, Kauffman, Friedman and Kruger tend to write a lot and the average US resident will read People Magazine instead of wading through these authors…too bad.

Matt

The Press And Global Warming

November 28, 2009

This morning was a “gotcha” morning for me on the press and global warming.

There are some in the press like Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post who write very meaty things about global warming but I have noticed that global warming is a subject that gets more time and analysis on David Letterman than on news shows such as many on MSNBC and CNN. This morning was a perfect example….

A new poll (by who? was not revealed) shows that the number of Americans who believe that global warming is occurring has dropped from 80% to 72%.

This correlates with an increase in global warming skeptics.

The thinking is that global warming skeptics increase as the partisan divide, on a non-partisan subject, arises.

What is frustrating to me is that the news folks found the “party crashers” of the presidents first State Dinner of much greater interest  than a complicated and serious topic, one that has huge political and survival relevance throughout the world like global warming. The televusion news anchor questioned whether Obama should even go to Coppenhagen while our economy is in such dire straights these days (at least the “job market” is).

Christmas shopping and the purchase of luxury automobiles were subjects given more time then the subject of global warming. I was definitely miffed by this lack of meaningful reporting on such a topic as global warming that will cost the USA trillions upon trillians of dollars to mitigate if we as a species survive it…and we (press at least) seem obsessed by a couple who crashed what I hear was a great party. The sad news is that we here about this couple for three days and about global warming for 15 seconds on this, and other, news casts.

Trivia: The “party crashers” were doing a spot for the reality series that will be “the real housewives of Washington D.C.” I grew up in Washington D.C. and cannot had a lot of friends who had :real housewife mothers” and I do not remember a single “”housewife” who came close to looking like the party crasher woman. Have housewives changed that much since I was a kid growing up in Washington D.C. (about forty, or so, years ago)? I am real interested to know.

Matt

Nice Holiday

November 25, 2009

My son, a good cook (glad he is because I am not..but I brought all of the fixings for two of us), will share Thanksgiving with me down in Santa Cruz.

O bama is taking small steps on global warming by at least going to Coppenhagen…hopefully he will say the right kind of thing to start with on a complex topic.

I have seen more neat birds in the “green space” in Santa Cruz, including Oak Titmouse, hundreds of Red-throated Loons in the Ocean and Chestnut-backed Chickadee.

Happy T Day to all of you. Look for my next post on Saturday of this week.

Matt

 

Birding In California…Talk About The Weather

November 21, 2009

I birded my area, Bozeman, Montana, thoroughlly, this year. The highlights included Merlins in town through the winter, almost twice stepping on White-winged Crossbils, outside of town Rough-legged Hawks, Prarie Falcons, Bald Eagles..and so on.

There is a lot of ice their now so it is nice to be in Santa Cruz, California, housesitting for my sister who is now in paradise in New Zealand.

I like Santa Cruz, where the surf is pounding, it seems like, all of the time. In my sister’s neighborhood I have already seen Surf Scoaters, Steller’s Jays, Bushtits, California Towhees, Allen’s Hummingbird, Western Scrub Jay, three species of commorant, six species of gulls and so forth. It is a lot of fun, even for a gimp like me.
Matt

Saving Wildlife In A Warmer Climate

November 20, 2009

NRDC and their Louisa Willcox are so right on this.  Even the US Fish and Wildlife Service, way tepid under W. Bush,  is looking for solutions to a climate that will change and a series of habitats that are already changing. This cannot be written better by anyone!!!!Please read.

Matt

Written by Mark Clayton, Christian Science Monitor

Whether it’s a polar bear clinging to a melting iceberg in the Arctic or a tiny, rabbitlike pika panting atop a warming mountain in western North America, scientists say that these species and others could be historical footnotes unless people help them survive.

Pushing animals to the brink – and then trying to bring them back – is nothing new for humans. Remedies have long included setting aside land for a special habitat (spotted owls) or making it illegal to kill them (whooping cranes).

But sweeping changes that would accompany projected climate change mean that an animal’s traditional range may no longer be habitable to it in a few years – or that a key food source or resource it needs is disappearing. And that calls for different solutions from those in the past.

“The business-as-usual approach to managing wildlife populations and resources is no longer likely to work very well,” says John Wiens, chief conservation science officer for the Point Reyes Bird Observatory in Petaluma, Calif. “We can’t say anymore, ‘Hey, we’ll do some management to control this threat, and everything will be hunky-dory,’ or ‘Preserve some habitat and some organisms, and everything will be fine.’ ”

There are signs of positive action, however. After years of what many saw as foot-dragging, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is leading states and other organizations in taking the first steps toward what could become a radical departure from today’s species-recovery model.

The FWS’s plan is a comprehensive and predictive “adaptation management” plan to help troubled wildlife. Its centerpiece is the creation of eight new regional landscape conservation cooperatives (LCCs), the first of up to 20 nationwide that will enlist multiple partners to deal with global warming’s expected effects.

Along with the US Geological Survey (USGS), states, and others, the FWS is now holding regional conferences on how to shape the cooperatives.

“We’re just at the very beginning stages of LCC development,” says Dan Ashe, deputy director of the FWS, in a phone interview. “We have to be able to be more predictive, to be able to look into the future to how climate change is affecting species like the grizzly bear, polar bear, or coho salmon.”

Gazing into the future is the key. Last month, Congress provided $25 million in fresh funding for the cooperatives, each of which will have a core staff of scientists to create models of probable regional climate impacts and provide scientific analysis for future wildlife management plans.

“The LCCs are integral to climate adaptation efforts,” according to an internal agency draft “function and form” document. Even so, they will not be “climate-centric,” but will “provide scientific support for conservation actions addressing a variety of broad-scale challenges, including water scarcity, species invasion, wildlife disease, as well as changing climate.

Using advanced computer models, LCC scientists will report how global warming could change regional ecosystems decades from now, allowing researchers to calculate whether a recovery plan in a species’ home range makes sense.

That, in turn, might make it possible to determine if a wildlife corridor, a way for animals to migrate past highways and cities to cooler northern climes, is possible. Or whether more drastic measures – such as translocating a species (capturing and moving it) – are necessary.

Scott Loarie’s pioneering work points to a decline of up to 59 percent in pika populations across the western US if greenhouse-gas emissions reach the higher end of the scale predicted by the International Panel on Climate Change. Even under the most optimistic IPCC scenarios, 15 percent of pikas would disappear. Higher levels of decline could bring calls for more radical adaptive techniques.

Options for the pika, which requires temperatures below 80 degrees F., could include spending more time underground to avoid the heat. But that may mean pikas couldn’t graze sufficiently to get fat enough to survive the winter. says Dr. Loarie, a researcher with the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University in California.

However, “if policymakers create larger areas that lessen sheep grazing and logging at higher altitudes, that management might help their chances a lot,” Loarie says.

More radical measures, such as translocating pikas, are hotly debated. “Translocation of the pika brings up all kinds of ethical questions, mainly the issue of native versus invasive species,” he says.

“If you take a climate refugee and bring it to another range, does it become an exotic species? It opens a huge can of worms,” he says. “Do we know enough to engineer things to get the outcome we want or [do we] risk making things worse?”

What’s become clear is that saving wildlife species threatened by climate change requires global cooperation, which presents challenges to scientists and negotiators.

Last month, for example, the FWS identified more than 200,000 square miles as critical habitat for the endangered polar bear. “We’ve listed the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act here in the US, but we can’t begin to conserve them just within our own borders,” Mr. Ashe says. “We are having to reach out to nine countries that manage them to put together an adaptation strategy.”

Climate impacts can appear suddenly, even for species that had been recovering well. The grizzly bears of Yellowstone National Park are an example. Their numbers had been rebounding, but now climate change-linked beetle infestations and disease have killed 60 percent of the white bark pine in Yellowstone – and much of what’s left is expected to be dead in five to seven years.

White bark pine nuts are a critical food that helps grizzlies get fat enough to overwinter. With the white bark pine gone, some 300 to 400 grizzlies need to spread out to other areas to find food. Bears are already turning to elk as a food source and getting shot by frightened elk hunters as a result.

Massey’s Blankenship says U.S. should expand coal use, warming science unsubstantiated

November 19, 2009

This guy is soooo irresponsable. What a trickster he is!!!!!!He has a lot of profit to lose by the truth of global warming…go figure!!!!!

Matt

Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has been an outspoken critic of the science behind global warming and the push for climate legislation for decades. As Congress continues to move forward with cap-and-trade legislation, Blankenship says an emissions plan will send jobs overseas and hurt the economy. During today’s OnPoint, he gives his take on the Senate’s climate debate and explains why he believes the world has entered a period of global cooling. Blankenship, who is also on the board of directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, discusses recent controversy surrounding the chamber’s stance on climate legislation and explains why efforts to develop carbon capture and storage technology

US Senate to act on climate bill in 2010

November 17, 2009

A great idea pushed to the back of the room.

Matt

WASHINGTON — The US Senate will act in early 2010 on legislation to battle climate change, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday, ending hopes of a breakthrough by next month’s global talks.

“We are going to try to do that sometime in the spring,” Reid told reporters, with a White House-backed push to remake US health care still dominating the Senate agenda just weeks before the congressional session ends.

The decision confirms that the US Congress will not adopt legislation to combat climate change before the December 7-18 global climate change talks in Denmark’s capital Copenhagen.

It also pushes what is likely to be a bitter debate to a mid-term election year, potentially making it harder to corral some of the swing-vote Senators needed to ensure passage of the bill.

The US House bill calls for cutting US greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 and by 83 percent by 2050. The Senate’s slightly more ambitious bill calls for a 20-percent cut by 2020.

Both bills would create a cap-and-trade regime, the government would set the total level of domestic emissions allowable and then allocate quotas to companies.

Firms that emit less than their quota would be allowed to sell their surplus allocation to others that exceed theirs. Those in excess could also face fines.

The Senate text — which is likely to change considerably before a final vote — also makes a push for nuclear energy research and training, and promotes natural gas as a clean energy source.

Amid Worrisome Signs of Warming, ‘Climate Fatigue’ Sets In

November 16, 2009

By: Richard A. Kerr
We’re seeing things happen more rapidly” than IPCC 2007 anticipated, he says. “I think IPCC has done a very responsible job, but now we know more, and the trends are all in the wrong direction.”

 “We have a delicate task of conveying the seriousness of the situation without overselling it as a done deal. We have a [climate] process that comes in fits and spurts,” he says, referring to the big loss of summer sea ice in 2007 as well as recent losses from Greenland. “We have to be careful not to extrapolate” a short spurt far into the future.

U.S., Chinese cuts key to reaching climate pact

November 16, 2009

Copenhagen has turned from a potential sucess to a potential setback for the US. You know we have essential things as a society to do, such as cap and trade legislation and the cable press  I am listening to is in “GREEEN WEEK” and all the press wants to do is talk about Sarah Palin’s new book and a shirtless first dude in Alaska (Todd). Go figure, as our ship has potential to go down the world is busy debating whether or not Palin will run for president in 20012. The press I am listening to, as I type this, has during a 2 hour period during “Green Week” done 1 story on cap and trade and 5 stories on Sarah Palin’s book. I predict that global warming, pro fossil fuel Palin will laugh all the way to the bank as she cashes in on her book an book tour.

Read below Eilperin’s article on a complicated subject we NEED but it may drown in our presidents political weight and Palin’s book tour.

Matt

Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 16, 2009

The scaled-back climate strategy endorsed Sunday in Singapore by President Obama and other leaders could put pressure on the United States and China to resolve the biggest stumbling block to an agreement — how much they will cut greenhouse-gas emissions in the next decade.

Hoping to lower expectations for next month’s U.N.-sponsored talks in Copenhagen, leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit endorsed the proposal by Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen for a limited, short-term climate agreement that would be finalized as a legally binding treaty in 2010.

The new approach — “one agreement, two steps,” as Rasmussen called it — would have all 192 countries participating in the talks sign an agreement on major parts of the negotiation, including mitigation, adaptation, technology and finance.

Neither the United States nor China — which together account for roughly 40 percent of the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions — has outlined specific climate targets for 2020, a key sticking point for the negotiations. Obama administration officials have said they are reluctant to identify a near-term goal until Congress passes climate legislation, which will not reach the Senate floor before next year. China’s leaders argue that, as a developing country, it should not be bound to specific reductions under any international treaty.

Obama will meet this week with Chinese President Hu Jintao, whose country already has ambitious short-term goals to expand its renewable energy sources, improve its energy efficiency and plant trees in order to absorb carbon from the atmosphere. Jintao has said China will soon take on a carbon-intensity reduction target, but he has not identified what it will be.

Although the United States historically ranks as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, China is expected to account for 50 percent of the growth in global emissions over the next 20 years, making its output nearly 60 percent higher than the U.S. amount by 2020.

Some environmental activists decried the APEC decision. Kaisa Kosonen, climate policy adviser for Greenpeace International, said Rasmussen “has become complicit in a U.S. so-called ‘deal’ which would put Obama’s political difficulties ahead of the survival of the world’s most vulnerable countries.”