[GWSG] Kerry's talk; Xl a heater; Arctic albedo; US activists; Hansen's plan; shrinking PIG; Arctic video

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Sat Feb 22 10:30:03 EST 2014

1.  Speaking in Indonesia, Secretary of State John Kerry spoke of climate change as a great threat and called for us to respond with action at every level.  http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/16/politics/kerry-climate/   Sources such as CNN and AP carried the story straight.  (Notice the odious “think about it” ad to the right of the CNN page.  It’s like an industrial growl.  When they say what we are supposed to think about, it is how much money we could make with natural gas.)  The speech was less bland than CNN reports, though.  Kerry warned that our window for action is closing, called for new investment for a thorough and global transition to renewable energy, and said that “We just don’t have the time to let a few loud interests groups hijack the climate conversation.”  http://blueandgreentomorrow.com/2014/02/17/john-kerry-we-have-to-invest-in-new-technology-to-fight-climate-change/   The full speech, worth the 45 minutes:  http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2014/02/221704.htm  As this speech represents our government’s position, it indicates a most significant and hopeful change in US posture on climate. It is the first of a series of presentations Kerry plans.  He said that he will emphasize security concerns.  President Obama has also indicated that he intends to make a series of speeches on climate.

2.  The State Department’s study of the environmental impact of the Keystone XL pipeline ignored the administration’s climate action plan.  Its warming scenarios put us on track for over 6° of warming by 2040, which should have set off alarms.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-kretzmann/climate-goals-keystone-xl_b_4802968.html  The State Department seems at odds with its Secretary.  I hope some staffer wrists are being slapped.

3.  The change in Arctic albedo with the melting of sea ice may well be contributing more warming than models had indicated it would.  http://news.yahoo.com/warming-arctic-sea-ice-melting-more-dramatic-thought-202504784.html

4.  About a third to half of Americans would engage, or have engaged, in some degree of climate activism.  About 1/6 say they would engage in civil disobedience.  http://environment.yale.edu/climate-communication/article/Behavior-November-2013

5.  In “Renewable Energy, Nuclear Power, and Galileo” James Hansen provides an overview of the global energy and emissions situation, along with an argument for a program of Chinese-US energy conversion which would allow carbon emissions to peak this decade.  http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140221_DraftOpinion.pdf

6.  Pine Island Glacier in the Antarctic appears to have shrunk rapidly about 8,000 years ago, and may do so again.   http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/02/antarctic-glacier-shrank-quickly-in-the-past/

7.  NOAA has produced a video showing the progressive diminution of Arctic sea ice over the past 27 years.  It appears to flow out over Greenland.  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/21/arctic-ice-melt-video
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