Politics, open government, and safe streets. And the constant incursion of cycling.

Why Yes, That *Was* Hotter Than Ever . . .

The Guardian points to something that everyone living in the DC area (and probably entire Eastern Seaboard) already suspected was the case:

Now scientists have confirmed what’s been pretty obvious: the entire world has just come through the warmest six months, the warmest year, and the warmest decade on record. Following the hottest June ever,AccuWeather.com yesterday said July was the second hottest July recorded – and the warmest ever for land temperatures alone.

And with that comes consequences:

Just in case those feel like abstractions, here’s what they mean in practice: because warmer air holds more water vapour than cold, deluge increases. Hence, Pakistan has seen the worst flooding in its history. Because heat cuts grain yields, Russia has stopped exporting grain, spiking prices. Greenland? Guess what – heat melts ice.

But hey, just regular weather cycles, right?


Friday Music: **** It


Debating the Surveillance State


  1. I attended a lecture at the, “University” of Richmond a while back and the guest lecturer was all ferklempt about rising temperatures.

    I didn’t want to embarrass the fellow, so I waited until after he finished the lecture and asked him about the dispute regarding some of the reported data that had been discussed in the the journal, Science and in some other academic publications. He said that he had not heard of any such disputes over the reported data.

    Then I asked him if warming was actually occurring, then why are ice sheets in Antarctica growing? He said he had not heard of that, either.

    Then I asked him if he had considered the information about rising temperatures on our neighboring planets to be evidence that perhaps any climate change here on earth might be due to solar variation, rather than emissions, or at least if emissions may not be the whole source of any climate change here. The lecturer told me that we didn’t have the technology to know the temperatures on other planets.

    This surprised me, and I told him that we have used remote sensing and probes to record temperatures of other planets for several decades. He then said, “Wow, that’s cool.”

    I then asked the lecturer if his background was in the environmental sciences, or some other field of science. It turned out that he was a political activist, and had no background in science, or engineering whatsoever, yet the “University” of Richmond had paid him to present a guest lecture on climate change.

    The lesson is: Carefully consider the source.

    The Guardian, is hardly a source worthy of any trust. If that paper reported that the Sun arose, you had better look outside before concluding that it was really morning.

    As for the climate issue, it is a healthy development that more people are getting involved in the field of Climatology. Unlike those who claim that absolutely nothing is happening, I am with those who say we should carefully examine data, and also check how that data was collected. Just one example, some have heard of the Russian data that was debunked when it was found that their equipment was faulty and their technicians incompetent.

    What is needed is a reliance on good science, absent any political filtering from any side with an alternative agenda. We may, for example, discover that we are at the beginning of a new climatic cycle, or merely experiencing, yet another, minor cyclical variation (something that has been documented many times in the geologic record).

    Until we know what is really happening, based on sound analysis, it is prudent to examine ways that mankind can mitigate solar cycles by changing our own carbon output. The side benefit of such an endeavor, even if it turns out that we are not doomed after all, is that by focusing on emissions mitigation, we will likely develop myriad new energy sources that could lead to America finally achieving energy independence.

  2. MB

    Pretty much brings this to mind.

  3. Mark, if you mean anything Joe “I’m Sorry BP” Barton says is probably total BS, you’re right.

    God, I love science deniers. We must carefully, objectively, without bias study the evidence, now let me tell in advance you exactly what that will find. That’s the opposite of how it works. ClimateProgress.org has responses to every one of J. Tyler’s points.

  4. Center for American Progress funds the ClimateProgress.org. They do not refute, as much as simply lay out a list where they simply say that the “Science says…” then they quote a snippet of someone’s research that they believe supports their agenda, conveniently omitting the actual conclusion, or in the case of ice measurement, failing to include updates that refuted the original claim..

    What I am advocating is an open discussion of verified facts; including checking supposed facts. It does little good to have one side, with a particular agenda, to say that the ice sheets are shrinking, when those who are doing the research have already debunked that erroneous conclusion.

    There is plenty of truth to be talked about, and our citizens deserve to hear a thorough discussion of ALL the facts in the public forums.

    By the way, that video of Barton, where he gives the Secretary of Energy six seconds to answer where the oil comes from is a typical political set-up. The Secretary should have told him to schedule a semester long hearing so that he could teach Barton, Geology 101. Instead, the Secretary tried to actually summarize that sedimentation and plate tectonics we likely responsible for the current oil reserves in Alaska, which is probably the case, based on all that the worldwide Geologists have been able to infer from the geologic record.

    I would like to know who posted that video under the heading that the Secretary was “confused.” He actually did a good job of answering Barton’s stupid question in the limited time that was provided.

    Take a look at who is funding these pro and con groups and filter their positions accordingly, then lets be sure that the real facts are what is conveyed to the citizens.

  5. tx2vadem

    I don’t know that science is going help anything. Unless they can come up with a magic solution. If people can refuse to vaccinate out of fear, what hope do we have of solving this?

    The utility industry came together as a whole (even Mile’s second favorite punching bag, Dominion) to push climate change legislation. I think they spent more money than AHIP and PhARMA did on lobbying. If industry couldn’t get a Democratic Congress to pass it, it is basically dead for years now.

    What I do have hope for is science providing a magical solution. We can basically create synthetic life now. Not just making glowing fish, but completely synthetic organisms. So, maybe we will come up with a single celled organism that removes GHGs from the atmosphere and fixes the carbon in some wondrous way without producing some disastrous, Mary Shelley consequence.

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