Depressing Climate News

I didn’t read one story today that was depressing with regards to climate change. What is depressing is the incredible lack of intelligence or useful information in all of the climate stories I read today.

COP 21 is underway–one would think that would stimulate editors and writers to  come up with something interesting or informative. No. ABC tells us that negotiators are negotiating and it lasts until late in the evening.

What are they negotiating about? No prize for the right answer, it’s too easy. Developing countries want the richer developed world to pay for ‘climate justice.’ Amazingly, the rich world wants the poorer world to share the burden. But not one word in the story talks about any movement, proposals, counter-proposals that the negotiators are bringing forth. Brazil and India, two countries with everything to play for, are not mentioned. The only quote is from the head of the UN’s Development Program, Helen Clark. “Let’s all work to get developing countries into the very best position they can to access the financing that’s there to do things that are vital for development.” This story actually made me stupider for having read it.

The same can be said for a story found on Quartz titled ‘A sneaky new rhetoric is holding back progress on climate change,’ arguing that cynicism served up, not by ‘climate change deniers’, but lukewarmers like Bjorn Lomborg is undermining progress by mentioning that China’s emissions are still growing or that electric cars often get their electricity from sources powered by fossil fuels. It breaks new ground only in the world of chutzpah by saying  “For decades, the media has soft-peddled both the urgency and science surrounding climate change.” Falser words were never written.

From Wired articles (Three Smart Ways Design Can Help Fight Climate Change, showing no real way design can help fight climate change) to EcoWatch (Bill Nye: Paris Attacks Linked to Climate Change, rehashing the Syrian drought myth), the current crop of news is horrible at communicating facts and not even good at propagating a message.

It all reminds me of the Dotcom Era right before the Internet bust, when press releases were churned out by the hundred, all using the same template guaranteeing success for companies bound to fail, all with the same language and poor writing, all aimed at the stupidest of potential investors.

That a serious issue with impacts for all of humanity, guaranteed to cost billions and almost guaranteed to change the composition of the Fortune 100 over the next decade could produce such vapid and mindless discourse is worse than depressing. Please, somebody–point me to a good story written today!

Not a good day for journalism. Not a good day for climate. Not a good day for the planet.



5 responses to “Depressing Climate News

  1. Tom, the under reporting and misreporting allows the climate kooks to work without reasonable scrutiny. In other words Mr. Obama is more likely to take the last, logical step. It’s a decent bet he will commit the US to an Executive Order enforced by the EPA regulatory power to tax us, pay money to industries and nations he chooses, and destroy American industries he does not like. All without that pesky Congress or Constitution. You are very fortunate to have had the good fortune of being over seas.

    • mpcraig,
      That is a fascinating article. Thanks.

    • Here is one of many peer reviewed papers predicting a coming ice age.

      Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate.


      Effects on the global temperature of large increases in carbon dioxide and aerosol densities in the atmosphere of Earth have been computed. It is found that, although the addition of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does increase the surface temperature, the rate of temperature increase diminishes with increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. For aerosols, however, the net effect of increase in density is to reduce the surface temperature of Earth. Becuase of the exponential dependence of the backscattering, the rate of temperature decrease is augmented with increasing aerosol content. An increase by only a factor of 4 in global aerosol background concentration may be sufficient to reduce the surface temperature by as much as 3.5 deg.K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease over the whole globe is believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age.

      The rate at which human activities may be inadvertently modifying the climate of Earth has become a problem of serious concern . In the last few decades the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere appears to have increased by 7 percent . During the same period, the aerosol content of the lower atmosphere may have been augmented by as much as 100 percent .

      How have these changes in the composition of the atmosphere affected the climate of the globe? More importantly, is it possible that a continued increase in the CO2 and dust content of the atmosphere at the present rate will produce such large-scale effects on the global temperature that the process may run away, with the planet Earth eventually becoming as hot as Venus (700 deg. K.) or as cold as Mars (230 deg. K.)?

      We report here on the first results of a calculation in which separate estimates were made of the effects on global temperature of large increases in the amount of CO2 and dust in the atmosphere. It is found that even an increase by a factor of 8 in the amount of CO2, which is highly unlikely in the next several thousand years, will produce an increase in the surface temperature of less than 2 deg. K.

      However, the effect on surface temperature of an increase in the aerosol content of the atmosphere is found to be quite significant. An increase by a factor of 4 in the equilibrium dust concentration in the global atmosphere, which cannot be ruled out as a possibility within the next century, could decrease the mean surface temperature by as much as 3.5 deg. K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease could be sufficient to trigger an ice age!

      Schneider S. & Rasool S., “Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols – Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate”, Science, vol.173, 9 July 1971, p.138-141

      Those results were bases on a climate model developed by none other than James Hansen, incidentally.

      • The tell that the current climate hypesters are not honest is that they deny these peer reviewed studies exist instead of reconciling the study’s conflicting conclusions.

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