Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

News Items That Have Caught My Eye

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Companies are sitting on $1 Trillion in cash.  The economy could be doing quite a bit better; millions of Americans could be employed, all if companies would spend the cash they already have.  They don’t need more tax breaks or incentives.  They don’t need to keep outsourcing American jobs to overseas workers.  They need to participate in good faith.

The Western U.S. will go up in flames if global warming deniers keep having their way.  The median annual area burned by wildfires is projected to jump 300% to 600% over much of Colorado by mid-century.  Oh, and Aspen could feel like Amarillo does today in the same time period.  By all means, keep denying though!

Green buildings, on average, only cost 1-2% more than non-green buildings.  Most of the public believes the number is closer to 17%.

Oldie but important: from a New York Times editorial this summer

Last summer, pilots working with the United States Forest Service and the Natural Resources Defense Council made low-level flights over 25 million acres of forest, trying to gauge how much damage has been done. The results, released this month, are devastating. Just over half the white bark pine forests are dead; one-fourth have medium to high mortality; few forests have escaped some damage.

Forests continue to die in the face of global warming.  The effects on ecosystems haven’t been devastating yet, but it’s only a matter of time.  Time is non-renewable resource those forest ecosystems don’t have.

As I’ve stated in many of this year’s State of the Poles posts, the Arctic has likely entered a new climatological regime.  Saying it ain’t so with religious zeal isn’t changing things.

“New calculations show that the amount of melting inland ice in Greenland is 25-50% higher in 2010 than normally, reports professional journal Ingeniøren (The Engineer).”

The denialists had great fun pointing out what they said were ethical shortcomings of scientists last year after one of them illegally hacked government email servers.  Isn’t it interesting that not a peep has been issues this year as a prominent global warming critic is being investigated for plagiarism and outright fabrication of data in his now infamous Wegman Report.  Honestly, this is pretty unsurprising.  People who spend most of their time criticizing others for various “shortcomings” quite often are shown to engage in the exact behavior they accuse others of.  Deniers don’t have science backing them up and we’re sure to find that few of them have ethics backing them up either.  Silence from the denialists on this serious breach of conduct is deafening.

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