May, 2018

Much of my news comes from The Daily Climate, whose wonderful subscription service clues me in to what's going on each day. Another great source of stories (and commentaries) comes from my friend Jim Poyser, at Apocadocs. They stopped collecting news at the election of U.S. President Forty-Five, which was a frickin' party pooper of a day, I'll tell ya.

2018

May, 2018

5/24/2018

  • In an internal memo, the White House considered whether to simply ‘ignore’ federal climate research:
    • The document, drafted Sept. 18 by Michael Catanzaro, President Trump’s special assistant for domestic energy and environmental policy at the time, highlights the dilemma the administration has faced over climate change since Trump took office. Even as Trump’s deputies have worked methodically to uproot policies aimed at curbing the nation’s carbon output, the administration’s agencies continue to produce reports showing that climate change is happening, is human-driven and is a threat to the United States.
    • Catanzaro, who prepared the memo for a meeting of senior White House and agency officials that took place a couple of days later, asked whether the Trump administration should “consider having a firm position on and a coherent, fact-based message about climate science — specifically, whether, and to what extent, anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are affecting the climate system, and what level of concern that warrants.”
    • The memo presented three options without endorsing any of them: conducting a “red team/blue team” exercise to “highlight uncertainties in climate science”; more formally reviewing the science under the Administrative Procedure Act; or deciding to just “ignore, and not seek to characterize or question, the science being conducted by Federal agencies and outside entities.”
    • It did not consider touting federal scientists’ findings.
    • NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System program was canceled because of a lack of funding (although Congress is trying to restore it), and NOAA cut back on its climate and global change postdoctoral fellowship offers this year, also citing funding concerns. Officials at EPA and the Interior Department have specifically singled out “climate change” as a phrase that should not be used in applications for agency funding.
  • By getting serious about limiting global warming, the world could save itself more than $20 trillion: Fighting global warming is starting to sound like a lucrative investment. A new study out of Stanford University finds that keeping global warming a half-degree beneath the Paris climate agreement's 2 degree Celsius target could potentially save more than $20 trillion globally.
  • Christian leaders call out the heresy of Trumpism: Maybe it takes one of the world’s most elitist institutions — a monarchy, for goodness’ sake — to provide a view of Christianity rooted not in conservative cultural warfare (or unrelenting support for President Trump) but in an egalitarian love that will “let justice roll down like a mighty stream.”
    • And the Most Rev. Michael Curry, who preached for a royal couple and the world last Saturday, isn’t finished with us yet. On Thursday, a group of Christians will march to the White House for a candlelight vigil inspired by a declaration titled “Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis.”
    • The presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, Curry is a prime mover of a statement suffused with a sense of urgency about “a dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership at the highest levels of our government.”
    • While Trump lurks behind almost every paragraph of this passionate assertion of faith, he is never mentioned. This reflects the desire of the endorsers to focus on what it means to proclaim that “Jesus is Lord.” The opening paragraph makes this clear: “We believe the soul of the nation and the integrity of faith are now at stake.”

5/13/2018

5/10/2018

  • Trump Cancels NASA Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Program: You can't manage what you don't measure. The adage is especially relevant for climate-warming greenhouse gases, which are crucial to manage—and challenging to measure. In recent years, though, satellite and aircraft instruments have begun monitoring carbon dioxide and methane remotely, and NASA's Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), a $10-million-a-year research line, has helped stitch together observations of sources and sinks into high-resolution models of the planet's flows of carbon. Now, President Donald Trump's administration has quietly killed the CMS, Science has learned.
    • Trump is pure evil.
  • Pentagon revised Obama-era report to remove risks from climate change
    • Censorship is alive and well in the trump administration

5/4/2018

  • Scientists struggle to explain a worrying rise in atmospheric methane: EVERY year human endeavours emit 50bn tonnes of “carbon dioxide equivalent”. This way of measuring things reflects the climatic importance of CO2, which traps heat in the atmosphere for centuries before it breaks down, compared with other, shorter-lived greenhouse gases.
    • Of that 50bn-tonne total, 70% is carbon dioxide itself. Half the remaining 15bn tonnes is methane. In the past decade methane levels have shot up (see chart), to the extent that the atmosphere contains two-and-a-half times as much of the gas as it did before the Industrial Revolution. Earlier this month America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirmed another sharp rise in 2017.

5/2/2018

What went on: 2017

What went on: 2016

What went on: 2015

What went on: 2014

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