Climate News Roundup 4/10/2015

  • Doug Hendren has a new song entitled “Fracking’s Just a Bad Dream.”
  • Here is a brief, hopeful essay about why the “Merchants of Doubt” will lose in the end.
  • In a Guardian column, economics editor Larry Elliott asks “Can we imagine a future that is cleaner, greener and sustainable – one that avoids climate Armageddon – without abandoning the idea of growth and, thus, forcing living standards into decline?” To see what he concludes, go here. It is a very thought-provoking essay.
  • Libertarian science writer and author Ronald Bailey asks what evidence would it take to persuade you that man-made climate change is real. His essay is one you might want to share with your conservative and/or libertarian friends and relatives.
  • The Post Carbon Institute is releasing a series of four videos by Richard Heinberg in conjunction with the release of his new book, Afterburn: Society beyond Fossil Fuels. The first is here.
  • The Yale Project on Climate Change has released an interactive map that shows public opinion on a variety of climate change issues down to the county level. It is interesting to note that Rockingham County is more accepting of man-made climate change than surrounding counties.
  • The Risky Business Project issued its third report, this one on the economic impacts of climate change. This report focuses on California, particularly the impacts on agriculture.
  • The National Environmental Education Foundation is offering a free course entitled “Extreme Weather 101” through UDEMY.
  • Two members of the Natural Resource’s Defense Council staff have published a paper outlining how the federal flood insurance program can be used to encourage people to retreat from shore lines and move away from flood prone areas.
  • A new study shows that cities with extensive urban sprawl will have a difficult time decreasing their CO2 emissions from transportation, even if they increase housing in the city center.
  • The Rocky Mountain Institute, an energy policy think tank, has issued a new report on how we will get our electricity in the future. Chris Mooney has a description of the major findings from the report.
  • As Shell moves drilling equipment near Alaska, environmental groups maintain that drilling for oil in the Arctic is just not compatible with President Obama’s pledge to lead on climate change.
  • A new study confirms that significant amounts of organic carbon are stored in permafrost. While it is unlikely that they will be abruptly emitted as CO2 or methane, they are expected to serve as a continuous carbon source over long time periods.
  • One impact of increasing the CO2 content of the atmosphere is to make the oceans more acidic. BBC News summarized a recently published study that provided evidence that the Permian-Triassic mass extinction (252 million years ago), in which over 90% of marine species went extinct, was likely caused by increased ocean acidity caused by CO2 released by volcanic activity.
  • A recent study demonstrated that marine ecosystems can be disrupted by climate events on timescales of multiple decades, but recovery can require a thousand years.

These news items have been compiled by Les Grady, member and former chair of the CAAV steering committee. He is a licensed professional engineer (retired) who taught environmental engineering at Purdue and Clemson Universities and engaged in private practice with CH2M Hill, the world’s largest environmental engineering consulting firm. Since his retirement in 2003 he has devoted much of his time to the study of climate science and the question of global warming and makes himself available to speak to groups about this subject. More here.

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