Tag Archives: climate action

2013 among top 10 warmest years: a civilisational response is urgently required

WarmingCan you see a pause in the warming of the planet?

The World Meteorological Organisation have just released the following press release:

The year 2013 was among the top ten warmest years since modern records began in 1850, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). It tied with 2007 as the sixth warmest year, with a global land and ocean surface temperature that was 0.50°C (0.90°F) above the 1961–1990 average and 0.03°C (0.05°F) higher than the most recent 2001–2010 decadal average. 

Thirteen of the 14 warmest years on record have all occurred in the 21st century. The warmest years on record are 2010 and 2005, with global temperatures about 0.55 °C above the long-term average, followed by 1998, which also had an exceptionally strong El Niño event.

At this point many commentators, scientists and bloggers will say “Well look at that. We told you the planet is warming.” Of course those that deny climate change will mutter about conspiracies, the “pause in warming” and such nonsense.

But let us move well beyond that conversation, cherry picking of facts and the finger-pointing that takes place every time a press release such as this comes out.

When I look at this graph I see a planetary and civilisational emergency. I see a looming catastrophe if we don’t begin advanced planning.

What I see is the urgent need to examine how we adapt to a changed climate.

Many hard decisions are before us.

Time to consider our options.

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Obama retweets Cook paper finding 97% scientists agree AGW real to 31 million followers

John Cook and his team should be congratulated:

Now that is making a difference to the public understanding of science.

John is also interviewed on CNN“The opponents of climate action have been really good at amplifying…. the voices of the 3%”



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Remember the Alamo, or the state of the climate debate (partial re-post)

I’m not alone in musing on the current state of the debate, Tamino over at Open Mind is one a similar wave length. I’m just going to grab a slab of his post – Tamino, I respect your IP – but its worth quoting at length. Section bolded the most relevant:

I watched about 8 hours of the 24 Hours of Reality: Dirty Weather Report from Al Gore’s “Climate Reality” project. All in all, I’d say it was excellent. It also made me realize how much more we need to involve the general public, and especially the young adults and near-adults who will bear the brunt of coming climate changes, in our efforts to reverse the lethargy that grips our nation, and to a lesser degree the world, in dealing with the crisis that is global warming.

The final hour wasn’t as good as I had hoped. In large part that’s because it started with the multi-media presentation not working, which I think kind of threw Al off his groove. But he recovered well, and it was good. There were also a few moments in earlier hours that weren’t my cup of tea, especially the “artsy” parts (including songs to inspire the troops), but I realize that’s just me — many of those who will be the footsoldiers of the climate action army take inspiration from such efforts.

I didn’t really learn any new science from the broadcasts, but I wasn’t expecting to. I was, however, genuinely inspired. Seeing some of the activists, especially the young ones, was moving. Seeing how the climate movement has grown, especially in the last couple of years, was both reassuring and inspiring. Noting the extent of the Climate Reality project, it’s breadth and depth and reach, made me feel good. Damn good.

It also made me realize that we really need to get masses of people moving on this. That requires casting a wider net than I, or most of my favorite blogs, do. It also calls for a different approach. I tend to focus heavily on the science, especially on refuting silly arguments from fake “skeptics,” but to get the troops fired up calls for less emphasis on the highly technical and more emphasis on both the impacts of climate change (which was especially well done during the broadcast) and on the actions which people can take, both on a personal level to reduce carbon footprint, and on a grass-roots level to change the way our governments have failed to address the problem substantively. Frankly, seeing the vast numbers of those who are getting involved and the way people are coming together to face the crisis courageously, was the best part of the program for me.

Hence the title of this post. For years now I’ve been blogging about global warming, and so have many others with which many of you are familiar, but the mass of people have been unmoved. Yet our efforts have not been in vain; those of us who have carried the banner have been like the defenders of the Alamo — hopelessly outnumbered (and out-funded!) by the forces of global warming denial, but giving ‘em hell anyway. And like those courageous fighters for Texas freedom, I think we’ve succeeded — we held ‘em off long enough for General Sam Houston to get the rest of the forces organized. We could not win the battle all by ourselves, but we’ve kept the enemy at bay long enough for victory to be within reach of our now far greater force.

And unlike the defenders of the Alamo, we’re still alive and kicking. It’s a good thing too — because the host of new climate activists, especially those who pick up the banner of fighting against global warming deniers, will need our help. The deniers will never stop coming up with new excuses to deny reality, and we need to show everyone the error of their ways. And of course, like zombies, deniers will never stop reviving old, long-refuted arguments, so we need to be there to refute them again and again, as many times as it takes.

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