A team of scientists from Harvard University and the company Carbon Engineeringannounced on Thursday that they have found a method to cheaply and directly pull carbon-dioxide pollution out of the atmosphere.
If their technique is successfully implemented at scale, it could transform how humanity thinks about the problem of climate change. It could give people a decisive new tool in the race against a warming planet, but could also unsettle the issue’s delicate politics, making it all the harder for society to adapt.
The Met Office wants you to believe that this May just gone was the hottest ever recorded in Britain.
Here is one of its spokesmen, talking to the Daily Mail:
Tim Legg, of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre, said: ‘Increased sunshine during the month has helped to keep daytime temperatures high, leading to it provisionally being the warmest May since records began in 1910. It is also likely to be the sunniest May since 1929 too.’
Since records began in 1910, eh?
This is a true sentence: so long as you completely ignore the fact that in Britain records actually go back to 1659.
The great thing about puffin stories is that they give you the perfect excuse to run a jolly picture of a puffin at the top. Everyone loves puffins, some – if you’re Icelandic – because they’re a tasty delicacy, others because, with their distinctive stripy beaks they look so attractive and charming and cute.
I expect this is why the Telegraph sent its science reporter up to the Farne Islands in Northumbria to write up a story it dramatically headlined ‘UK puffins may go the way of the dodo with fears of extinction in 50 years.’
So far the news has been bleak. The puffins arrived four weeks later than usual and initial estimates suggest the number of breeding pairs has fallen by 12 per cent.
A combination of climate change, overfishing, plastic pollution and extreme weather has left the little seabirds struggling for survival.
This was followed up by BBC Radio 4’s Today programme and also by the Daily Mail.
But the story is #fakenews.
First, as one reader pointed out, puffin colony numbers go up and down all the time.
Progressives are worried about Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War. They think its villain Thanos, whose solution to the overpopulation problem is to wipe out half the planet, gives the wrong impression that environmentalists are evil.
By ascribing selfless motives to Thanos, AIW tacitly delivers this toxic message: environmentalism = mass murder.
Solitaire Townsend, co-founder of the environmental PR agency Futerra, also finds the movie’s message too close for comfort. At Forbes, she writes:
The Mad Titan sounds worryingly like some environmentalists. Over the years the need for ‘population control and reduction’ has been widely called for as the necessary solution to our resource and sustainability crisis. Thanos is the ultimate Malthusian. After he fulfills his purpose, crumbling half of life in the universe into dust, he retires to an idyll many environmentalists would enjoy – a simple rural hut set in sunlit dappled fields. He had promised “not suffering, but salvation,” and in the final shot a tiny smile is playing on his face after a job well done. Ouch.
For Svoboda, this is a horrible distortion of the essential goodness with which environmentalists are imbued.
How climate ‘experts’ love to mock the ignorance of evil, anti-science Republicans!
E & E News had field day recently, deriding the stupidity apparently on display at a meeting of the U.S. House of Representatives Science, Space and Technology Committee.
Here is how it began its snarky put-down:
The Earth is not warming. The White Cliffs of Dover are tumbling into the sea and causing sea levels to rise. Global warming is helping grow the Antarctic ice sheet.
Those are some of the skeptical assertions echoed by Republicans on the U.S. House of Representatives Science, Space and Technology Committee yesterday. The lawmakers at times embraced research that questions mainstream climate science during a hearing on how technology can be used to address global warming.
A leading climate scientist testifying before the panel spent much of the two hours correcting misstatements.
The “leading climate scientist” in question was one Philip Duffy, president of the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts and former senior adviser to the U.S. Global Change Research Program.
Climate scientists are giving science a bad name, says a leading atmospheric physicist in an essay on the global warming debate.
Professor Garth Paltridge, formerly a chief scientist with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Division of Atmospheric Research, says that the behavior of certain members of the climate science establishment is “seriously threatening the public’s perception of the professionalism of scientists in general.”
Many climate scientists are much less sure about man-made global warming than they will admit in public, he says. But rather than reach out to skeptics in order to open up the debate and explore the uncertainties, they have instead closed ranks and rubbished anyone who disagrees with them:
Some of the more vocal of the establishment climate researchers have fallen into a mode of open denigration of climate sceptics (“deniers” is the offensive popular terminology of the day). They insist that only researchers directly within the climate-change community are capable of giving authoritative advice. They insist that one can find true and reputable science only in peer-reviewed climate literature. But most significantly, they seem to have evolved a policy of deliberately excluding sceptics from climate-change forums of one sort or another, and indeed of refusing to take part in any forum where sceptics may share the podium.
Their high-handedness, Paltridge says, is redolent of “medieval religion”:
It is still a matter of debate whether climate change will increase the number of hurricanes, but it is more and more clear that human-caused heating of the planet will boost their severity.
This is absolute rubbish. “Junk scientists weaponising weather”, as the great Paul Homewood puts it. But perhaps we could have guessed this, given that the paper’s lead author is none other than Kevin “Travesty” Trenberth.
Trenberth, a moustacheoed alarmist and IPCC lead author who works at the Climate Analysis Section at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, is powerfully invested in the great climate change scare story.
In 2009 he sent the infamous email – exposed during Climategate – lamenting the fact that global temperatures weren’t playing in accordance with the alarmists’ computer models:
The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.
More disturbingly, in 2005 as an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Lead Author, he misrepresented the views of one of his contributing expert authors, Chris Landsea, in order to ramp up the scare story. Landsea, a hurricane expert, had said that recent hurricane activity had not been made more severe by “global warming.” Trenberth, not a hurricane expert, overruled Landsea and held a press conference declaring the opposite. As a result Landsea resigned from the IPCC. (For more details, see my previous article here)
“Climate change is the most existential threat of our time,” announced the title character in the latest episode of the celebrated CBS drama Madam Secretary.
In Madam Secretary, renewables are the future while gas (the fuel which, more than any other, has driven America’s energy and manufacturing and stockmarket revival) is the enemy.
That’s why in its latest episode, titled ‘Thin Ice,” and deconstructed here by Newsbusters, the antagonist is a slippery Texas gas baron named Chip Harding (Kevin O’Rourke). The good guys are lead by an enviro-activist called Bella and, of course, our plucky Secretary of State heroine Elizabeth “Bess” Adams McCord who bravely says, “No” to Chip’s evil, clean, abundant energy.
Beneath the warm cuddly exterior of the bunny-hugging greenie beats the heart of a fascist. If you ever doubted it, check out this Voxinterview with William T Vollmann.
Vollmann is an award-winning author and war correspondent once described as the most “ambitious, audacious writer working in America today” and tipped as a plausible Nobel Prize for Literature candidate. He claims once to have been a climate change ‘denier’ but not any more.
The climate change threat is so dire, he believes, that only the most drastic solutions will do:
It’s not just what some consumer does at home. It’s niggling little issues that add up. In Japan, roughly 50 percent or so of all the methane emissions — and that’s one of the three most dangerous greenhouse gases — are caused by rice growing. All this stuff that seems so innocuous. It seems to me that you have to drag people into some kind of regulatory hell, unfortunately. Maybe there’s a better way to do it, but I don’t see one.
Stopping the Japanese eating rice because muh climate change? Now that is extreme. But then, Vollmann is an extreme person: his ascetic, Luddite lifestyle – he doesn’t have a cellphone or use email – at one point led police to suspect that he might be the Unabomber.
Britain has just suffered its worst winter death toll in 42 years.
According to the Daily Star:
It is estimated that 20,275 Brits more than average died between December and March.
An additional 2,000 deaths more than average were expected due to cold conditions between March 23 and 31, this winter’s average death rates show.
Campaigners have called the deaths a “national tragedy” as cold weather victims fatalities could be prevented – especially in the elderly.
According to the Office of National Statistics, one in 10 cold weather deaths are among under-65s, one in 10 among 65-75s and eight in 10 among over-75s.
The Department of Health also said cold conditions worsen winter killers including flu, chest diseases, heart attacks, strokes and dementia.
It means this winter is set to total at least 48,000 deaths due to cold weather – which works out at an average of one death every three and a half minutes.
But what’s more shocking still is that the UK government – claiming to be Conservative, last time I looked – is actually boasting about the disastrous policy which helped kill them.
Here is what Energy Minister Claire Perry had to say on the tenth anniversary of the 2008 Climate Change Act – the most ruinous and pointless piece of legislation in recent British parliamentary history – which is largely responsible for making energy so expensive that the poor and vulnerable cannot afford to heat their homes.