Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Warming Wednesday

Not the most auspicious start, but to make sure I had a post to start this off, I prepared a link dump, since sometimes reading and reviewing a few good things is mentally easier (or at least uses different mental muscles) than writing something original.  Here we go:

The UK Government has a decent introduction to the topic for the uninitiated.  Given that no less a figure in the British Conservative pantheon than Margaret Thatcher was an early accepter of the need for government intervention on the climate, I have some faith that the current British government won't pollute that guide with FUD.

In case they do, New Scientist has a similar guide.

If you're past that point, and you've never visited, time to visit the home of the global conspiracy by scientists to fund themselves doing research they don't believe in because somehow there are tons of people who spend 15 years studying just so they can bilk meagre research dollars out of government instead of actually studying stuff they find interesting.  I speak of course of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Western Antactica is still warming.  If you've ever wondered, look at this map (scroll down) and "western" antarctica is the left side, the skinny side.  I'm not positive how they picked an "east" and "west" for a continent that covers a pole, guessing it is just convention based on that map view being the norm, and the left side of standard maps being the west (since up is usually north).

The spinners of my country are worried because our oil is much dirtier than regular oil.  Saudi Arabia north they say, but in terms of actual planetary impact, perhaps we should refer to Saudi Arabia as Alberta-south.

It took awhile, but I found a group at the GOS that deals with climate and intend to follow them.  If I needed confirmation of my thesis that we don't write about this stuff enough, scrolling through 7 or 8 pages of groups dealing with pets and cooking and home repair at the premier traffic liberal blog kind of did it.

Last, bookmark this post by Krugman where he succinctly explains why changing the climate can cause increased number and severity of extreme weather events, even though we can never know for sure if any particular storm or drought is caused by climate change, we can know that we are seeing an effect in the aggregate.


  1. It strikes me part of why we can't traction on this issue is that we often try to advance it within the dominant narrative rather than as part of a challenge. Sure, normally we would let the market decide, and government regulation would be bad, but we've got this crisis - the normal rules don't apply. We don't say that exactly, but I think it is often implicit.

    Better to say - we should organize our society and economy in order to serve human needs. That means protecting us from climate change as well as from the predations of the oil / gas / coal / etc. companies and from the dangers of pollution and massive oil spills and from the costs (financial and otherwise) of an interventionist stance in the Middle East that comes with all this. Talk of markets when we are dealing with cartels, or lock-in (e.g. no one asked me if I preferred to buy energy from wind or solar) is incoherent.

  2. Yeah, the phrase "greatest market failure in history" definitely comes to mind. Another win for neoliberalism.

  3. Another argument against accepting the premises of the conventional liberal narrative as interpreted by the now-defunct DLC. No matter what President Obama thinks, he won't get us where we need to go by being a nicer Ronald Reagan. Have we really forgotten that GWB promised us exactly that: compassionate conservatism?

    Exchanging one cynical marketing slogan for another may serve our Presdent's purposes; there's no way that it serves ours.