I travel once again to one of my favorite cities in the world, San Francisco, California to take part in the American Geophysical Union’s 2012 Fall Meeting. This year I will be presenting two oral talks and one poster. Please consider stopping by if you are attending AGU.
Superstorm Sandy produced record storm surge levels for locations in and around the NY City metropolitan region. One way that global warming made Sandy worse is because global warming is causing sea levels to rise. Sea levels have risen more than a foot in the New York City region since the Industrial Revolution. So what difference did this extra foot make for the citizens of New York City? Quite a lot. 6,000 more people impacted for each inch of rise!
70,929 more people and 30,551 more homes flooded.
Last night, PBS Frontline premiered their expose of climate science denial’s key players titled Climate of Doubt. The show highlighted S. Fred Singer, Patrick Michaels, Christopher Monckton, Chris Horner, Myron Ebell, and James Taylor, among several others. The episode also featured right-wing denier organization such as Heartland Institute, American Tradition Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute and others, who routinely attack climate science and its researchers. Climate of Doubt shows us how a handful of ideologues have hijacked Congress so that the most important issue facing humanity today is not even mentioned at any of the three presidential debates.
So what can you do to help our researchers who are being harassed by these Climate of Doubtmongers? A great way to do so is to support the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF). CSLDF was founded to protect the scientific endeavor by offering legal education resources to climate scientists as well as a “war chest” for scientists who are faced with expensive legal battles. The fossil fuel-funded ideologues have an almost unlimited amount of financial resources so CSLDF can use all the help it can get from concerned citizens and foundations.
Which of the $20 bills below is real and which is counterfeit?
What if I were to tell you that the one on the left was provided by a member of the United States Treasury and had the endorsement of virtually every currency expert on the planet? What if I told you that the one on the right was passed by a guy who has a history of deception and that virtually every currency expert thinks the one on the right is fake?
I am guessing that you think the one on the left is real and the one on the right is a fake because you considered the credibility of the people who passed that bill to you.
Now keep your “credibility eyes” open when Patrick Michaels tries to pass you a counterfeit document that is supposed to make you and our elected officials believe climate change is not a major concern for the United States.
Obama: “The first role of the federal government is to keep the American people safe.”
Romney: “We have a responsibility to protect the lives and liberties of our people, and that means a military second to none,” he said. “I do not believe in cutting our military. I believe in maintaining the strength of America’s military.”
Based on these two comments from the debate last night, one would conclude that President Obama would never avoid talking about a serious national security issue and that Mitt Romney respects the opinion of our military leaders. And, being a Republican, one might also assume Romney respects the opinions of our financial experts.
WRONG, and WRONG, and WRONG.
Dr. Georges Benjamin, Executive Director of the American Public Health Association, made this point quite clearly in his recent statement:
Climate change is one of the most serious health threats facing our nation. Yet few Americans are aware of the very real consequences of climate change on the health of our communities, our families and our children.
Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, made this point even more bluntly in stating:
We need to… convince the world that humanity really is the most important species endangered by climate change.
In a 2010 statement, 33 of the top generals and admirals in the United States stated:
Climate change is making the world a more dangerous place. It’s threatening America’s security. The Pentagon and security leaders of both parties consider climate disruption to be a “threat multiplier” – it exacerbates existing problems by decreasing stability, increasing conflict, and incubating the socioeconomic conditions that foster terrorist recruitment. The State Department, the National Intelligence Council and the CIA all agree, and all are planning for future climate-based threats. America’s billion-dollar-a-day dependence on oil makes us vulnerable to unstable and unfriendly regimes.
A 2010 statement from 268 investors representing assets of more than US$15 trillion:
Several leading studies indicate that the systemic shocks to regional and global economies from climate change will be substantial and will worsen the longer world governments wait to take sufficient policy action.
So clearly our health, military, and financial experts agree that human-caused climate change poses a very real threat to our health, safety, and financial security.
But here is what each candidate said about climate change:
Yep. Nothing at all.
PBS does not escape criticism either. More than 160,000 requests (including a letter from me) were sent to PBS asking them to include a climate change question but none were asked.
Shame on all of you.
In recent years, an increasing number of scientists have found themselves involved in legal discussions about their work, their correspondence, and their public statements. To better prepare the scientific community for these challenges, AGU and CSLDF have put together a legal education program for the scientific community. The goal is to both give a primer on the legal issues facing scientists and update them on legal situations currently making their way through the courts.
The legal education program will start with a series of webinars featuring some of the lawyers on the front lines of climate science litigation. These webinars will be followed by a series of legal education events at AGU’s 2012 Fall Meeting.
They know (knew) how to use rhetoric to send the strongest and longest lasting messages. Now you can learn the secrets of the great communicators such as Jesus Christ, Shakespeare, Lincoln, Lady Gaga, Winston Churchill, Bob Dylan, and others by reading Joseph Romm’s latest book titled: Language Intelligence: Lessons on persuasion from Jesus, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga.