The Global Warming Reader -- Bill McKibben
  • p. 38: "Human beings are now carrying out a large scale geophysical experiment of a kind that could not have happened in the past nor be reproduced in the future." most oft-quoted climate change quotes (on p. 41)
  • Keeling data: "The single most important environmental data set taken in the 20th century."
  • p. 54: "the balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernable human influence on global climate." (quote on p. 62 — IPCC, 1995)
  • p. 59: "an increase in the properties of rainfall from extreme events over the continuous states of the USA." IPCC report
  • p. 62 (footnote): Climate sensitivity "refers to the long-term (equilibrium) change in global mean surface temperature following a doubling of atmospheric equivalent CO2 concentration. More generall, it refers to the equilibrium change in surface air temperature following a unit change in radiative forcing
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  • p. 65: "most simulations show a reduction in the strength of the north Atlantic thermohaline circulation and a widespread reduction in diurnal range of temperatures."
  • p. 66 (sabbatical!): "Sustained rapid climate change could shift the competitive balance among species and even lead to forest die back, altering the terrestrial uptake and release of carbon."
  • p. 67 (ditto): "…future climate changes may also involve 'surprises'. In particular these arise from the non-linear nature of the climate system."
  • p. 69: The "Anthropocene" has a good overview of human impacts.
  • p. 75: Naomi Oreskes shows that there is broad scientific consensus on climate change.
  • p. 81: Target CO2: "ice-free until CO2 fell to 450ppm; so we're poised to go past that in the opposite direction soon…. "An initial 350 parts per million CO2 target may be achievable by phasing out coal use except where CO2 is captured and adopting agricultural and forestry practices that sequester carbon."
  • p. 86: This paper is from 2008; Hansen et al. end by saying "Continued growth of greenhouse-gas emissions, for just another decade, practically eliminates the possibility of near-term return of atmosphere composition beneath the tipping point for catastrophic effects." 2018 — the clock is ticking….
  • p. 211: Van Jones encourages us to make friends before fighting enemies. He also asks us to look 1st to the enemy within — ourselves — as we think about plucking splinters from Is. Deep patriotism versus cheap patriotism. Grover Norquist's desire to shrink government: "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub."
  • p. 224: Check on NKU's involvement with Energy Action Coalition and the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment. "It's Game Time, Obama" action called out the president for failing to lead.
  • p. 232: Todo (for students): find pictures of "the Greenland ice sheet in full-on meltdown." Obama again comes in for much scolding, for leading from the rear. Must make dramatic changes by "well before 2020" (p. 236) to "preserve a planet similar to the one human civilization developed on."
  • p. 235: "we must legislate a stop to the burning of coal, oil and natural gas."
  • p. 237: I'm trying to have it both ways: still playing the dirty game while preparing a lifeboat strategy. Can I beat a green retreat? Should I, or am I just buying recycled gift wrap?
  • p. 238: Naomi Klein — Climate Rage
  • p. 239: "One last chance to save the world" (Copenhagen), and it failed — hello lifeboat strategy!
  • p. 240: The "cruel contrast between those who caused the climate crisis (the developed world) and those who are suffering its worst effects (the developing world)."
  • p. 241: CO2 — "carbon dioxide in the atmosphere — the key cause of global warming"
  • p. 242-end: Climate reparations case: "We have a responsibility to provide the financial and technical assistance needed to help those [developing] nations adapt to the impacts of climate change and pursue low-carbon development."
  • p. 244: "the money spent on climate debt would fuel a global environmental transformation essential to saving the entire planet."
  • p. 247: "Setting aside the morality of building high-tech fortresses to protect ourselves from a crisis we inflicted on teh world…." — whoa! What is the moral implication of the lifeboat strategy?
  • p. 247: John Kerry: "I can tell you from my own experience: It is real, and it is prevalent. It's not hard to see how this could crystallize into a virulent, dangerous, public anti-Americanism. That's a threat too. Remember: The very places least responsible for climate change — and least equipped to deal with its impacts — will be among the very worst affected."
  • p. 248: "This is about the rich world taking responsibility for the damage done." Ilana Solomon….
  • p. 253: "Step one involves actually talking about global warming." "…the atmosphere is about five percent moister than it was forty years ago…."
  • p. 254: "Step two, we have to ask for what we actually need, not what we calculate we might possibly be able to get…. We need a stiff price on carbon, set by the scientific understanding that we can't still be burning black rocks a couple of decades hence. That undoubtedly means upending the future business plans of Exxon and BP, Peabody Coal and Duke Energy, not to speak of everyone else who's made a fortune by treating the atmosphere as an open sewer for the byproducts of their main business."
  • p. 257: "We may need to get arrested…. Mostly we need to tell the truth, resolutely and constantly. Fossil fuel is wrecking the one earth we've got. It's not going to go away because we ask politely. If we want a world that works, we're going to have to raise our voices."
  • p. 269: "It's no coincidence that most of those who are obsessed with population growth are post-reproductive wealthy white men…. But it's Lovelock who is being ignorant and irrational."
  • p. 270: "While there's a weak correlation between global warming and population growth, there's a strong correlation between global warming and wealth."
  • p. 271: "As the owner of one of those yachts I'll do more damage to the biosphere in ten minutes than most Africans inflict in a lifetime."
  • p. 272: "The ultra-rich, in other words, have decided that it's the very poor who are trashing the planet. You grope for a metaphor, but it's impossible to satirize."
  • p. 273: "Where's class war when you need it? It's time we had the guts to name the problem. It's not sex; it's money. It's not the poor; it's the rich." There seems to be a trend here — sustainability is difficult in a consumerism world. "Fair share" is evidently no an option….
  • p. 276 (2008): "I argue that a path yielding energy independence and a healthier environment is, barely, still possible. It requires a transformative change of direction in Washington in the next year." It didn't come -> lifeboat strategy.
  • p. 277: "…if emissions follow a business-as-usual scenario, sea level rise of at least two meters is likely this century."
  • p. 279 (2008): "…we have already gone too far…. A level of no more than 350 ppm is still feasible, with the help of reforestation and improved agricultural practices, but just barely — time is running out."
  • p. 284: Todo — use GIS to explore the Maldive Islands. Explore coastline changes if sea level rises the 2m that Hansen predicts…. and Manhattan, as a previous author mentioned.
  • p. 287: "you cannot negotiate with the laws of physics."
  • p. 300: "Love one another!! Everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." It could not be clearer. If you love your neighbor and one another, you don't pollute your neighbor's air or water and you certainly don't destroy your neighbor's right to a safe and healthy life."
  • p. 301: "Yet it is the poor nations of the world (our neighbors) that are paying for mistakes that we in wealthy countries have made without their contribution or their knowledge." (the "cruel contrast")
  • p. 309: Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action. An astonishing document, from 2006, which must have become lost.
  • p. 313: "The need to act now is urgent." WHAT HAPPENED? "The consequences of the pollution we create now will be visited upon our children and grandchildren."
  • p. 314: "We must also help the poor adapt to the significant harm that global warming will cause."
  • p. 320: "…gradual global warming could lead to a relatively abrupt slowing of the ocean's thermohaline conveyor…. With inadequate preparation, the result could be a significant drop in the human carrying capacity of the Earth's environment.
  • p. 321: Identify no-regrets strategies
  • p. 338: "Military confrontation may be triggered by a desperate need for natural resources such as energy, food and water rather than by conflicts over ideology, religion or national honor."
  • p. 341: "LeBlanc argues that, historically, humans conducted organized warfare for a variety of reasons, including warfare over resources and the environment. Humans fight when they outstrip the carrying capacity of their natural environment…. Peace occurs when carrying capacity goes up..
  • p. 344: As famine, disease, and weather-related disasters strike due to the abrupt climate change, many countries' needs will exceed their carrying capacity.
  • p. 350: "The Briefing" — a beautiful piece of fiction. Forts built to withstand cannons — how will they fare against mosquitoes? A beautiful dynamic is presented: a company in a complete cycle, so that they make money under any situation.
  • p. 376: "The Darkening Sea: What Carbon Emissions are Doing to the Ocean" — a fascinating look at something I knew only the barest bones about. Fabrey's story, and the biosphere story, were unexpected.
  • p. 380: as of 2004, "…nearly half of all the carbon dioxide that humans have emitted since the start of the nineteenth century has been absorbed by the sea."
  • p. 381: "The term 'ocean acidification' was coined in 2003 by two climate scientists, Ken Caldeira and Michael Wickett."
  • p. 400: "global warming: it strikes first and hardest at those who have done the least to cause it, and who have the fewest defenses against it." — the "cruel contrast", again….
  • p. 402: "The floods are coming more severely more frequently. Not only is the rainfall far heavier these days than anyone has ever experienced, it is also coming at different times of the year…. One notes that wild pigs in the forest now have their young earlier, another that certain types of rice and cucumber will no longer grow where they used to, a third that the days are hotter and that some trees now flower twice a year…. At least forty-four of Nepal's and neighboring Bhutan's Himalayan lakes, which collect glacier meltwater, are said by the UN to be growing so rapidly they could burst their banks within a decade."
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