[GWSG] Kerry's creds; slr in N FL; Greenland melt linear or not?; emulating Germany; hopes for 2013

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Tue Jan 1 10:02:14 EST 2013

1.  John Kerry will bring a long history of climate activism to the Department of State.  http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-kerry-expected-to-elevate-climate-change-as-secretary-of-state-20121224,0,6445247.story?track=rss

2.   The Jacksonville Times-Union ran coverage of a local sea level rise study on the front page.  http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2012-12-26/story/planners-wary-coastal-sea-rise-st-augustine-area  They did not mention that the 3-7 inch projection is for 2030, and provide no critique of the 9-24 inch projection for the century, but I consider that the story is a move forward for our area.  It is more important to begin assessing vulnerability and to plan for a range of rises than to arrive at a trustworthy schedule at this point.  We should begin to see more firmly grounded projections shortly as the Ice2sea project releases its findings, and other groups use recent work on the polar ice sheets.

3.  James Hansen and Makiko Sato observe that the Greenland melt is consistent with a nonlinear melt rate, but does not yet yield a clear picture.  I recommend the Trial of the Century, linked at the bottom of the first page.  It is Hansen’s satirical account of the climate wars.  The main article is of course the more significant piece: “Update of Greenland Ice Sheet Mass Loss: Exponential?”  The usual assumptions about sea level rise are based on a linear melt rate.  The time for action (sometime this decade) will probably have passed before we learn if that is more likely a nonlinear disintegration rate.  http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2012/20121226_GreenlandIceSheetUpdate.pdf

4.  The cost of a solar panel in 2011 was about $1.80.  German installers added $1.20 to that cost, and US installers, $4.36.  We should be able to emulate Germany.  http://www.technologyreview.com/news/509196/why-solar-installations-cost-more-in-the-us-than-in-germany/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-weekly-energy&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20121231

5.  George Monbiot sees 2012 as the pit, a year when we turned our back on the natural world.  In my plot theory the infernal vision marks the turn to a final resolution.  I nominate 2013 as the turn to the time when we decide to make ourselves at home in the world as it is.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/31/year-abandon-natural-world  When the turn to the final binding comes, it seems to come from the outside, or from deep within.  That amounts to the same thing, in the wisdom of plot.  In Salon, Alyssa Battistoni meditates on the uses of disaster.  http://www.salon.com/2012/12/31/will_2013_be_the_year_we_finally_address_climate_change/

Correction: On the last news list I misrepresented the name of Patrick Parenteau, Professor of Law at Vermont Law School.
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