Wednesday, June 29, 2011

FiST Chat 26: Mother Nature Vs Economic Growth

Uploaded by fistchat on Jun 29, 2011

Hosted by Stephan Kern and Ben Warner
The nature of our civilisation calls for infinite growth, but in a finite world, humanity is fast approaching an impasse between Mother Nature and Economic Growth. Steve and Ben discuss this issue against the backdrop of the climate change debate.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

At last

Increasingly, the answer is yes. Scientists used to say, cautiously, that extreme weather events were "consistent" with the predictions of climate change. No more. "Now we can make the statement that particular events would not have happened the same way without global warming," says Kevin Trenberth, head of climate analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo.

Storm Warnings: Extreme Weather Is a Product of Climate Change

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Arrival of the Post-Petroleum Human

'No Japan without nuclear energy'

The doubts are due to ignorance, the information is watered down due to ignorance...we need some nuclear scientists (not Michio Kaku, whom I love, but I think he's way out of his element here) to educate us so we can understand the facts.

If you believe there is no safe dose of radiation, be sure you never go out in the sun, or fly in a plane, or get Xrays or an MRI.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Radio Ecoshock III

RISING TO THE CHALLENGE Why are so many bad things happening at once? The converging crisis with author Ellen Laconte - interview with lasting wisdom in troubled times. Then Vicky Wyatt, Greenpeace climate campaigner, on grave risks of deep oil drilling off Greenland. Like the BP disaster, more madness, from the same industry which caused the ice to retreat. Plus new science on heat tolerance in small creatures. Will warming drive them to extinction? SFU Scientists Jennifer Sunday and Nick Dulvy.


Cost of Coal

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Monday, June 20, 2011

Jared Diamond: Thoughts on Managing Change

Climate Portals

Europe and Central Asia 2011 - The New Energy Architecture

UN Climate Change Conference June 2011 Webcast

The cost of climate change (video)

Freak weather and natural disasters seem to be on the rise. Over the past 50 years, severe weather patterns have cost 800,000 lives and a trillion dollars in economic losses. A new report puts much of the blame on climate change and the failure of nations to whittle down carbon emissions. So, what is the economic cost of climate change?

Also on the programme: In India the cost of living is running higher than anywhere else in Asia - interest rates are on the rise and growth is likely to decline. We look at the people most affected.

video that I can't embed:
The cost of climate change

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Now it begins: this is our future

Bruce Frasier sweats in the 106-degree heat at his Carrizo Springs, Texas, farm while stacking 42-pound boxes of cantaloupes bound for Kroger supermarkets and Wal-Mart Stores. But he's turning away all offers for his most prized commodity: water. Texas's worst drought since record-keeping began in 1895 is fueling a rally in water prices as energy prospectors from ExxonMobil to Korea National Oil expand the use of a drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, that uses up to 13 million gallons in a single well.
The bottom line: A record drought in Texas is boosting water prices and competition between agricultural and energy interests over the commodity

Water is the new liquid gold in Texas

The Climate Show 14: volcanoes, black carbon and crocks from Christy

Climate change 'will end economic growth'

There's a video I can't embed

I mean do you believe the world can come back from the brink, that people can change?

THOMAS FRIEDMAN: I certainly do, provided that we face up to the problem. You know Ali, my last book on this was called Hot, Flat and Crowded and whenever I talk to people about that I always, I'll hold up the book and say, well maybe you don't believe in hot, maybe you don't believe in climate change and global warming, no problem. That's between you and your beach house. But please, please believe in flat and crowded.

That is the world is getting more and more flat, that more and more people can see how we live, aspire to how we live and live like we live. In my country's case, in American-sized homes, driving American-sized cars, eating American-sized Big Macs, and there's going to be more and more people. We know that.

So when flat meets crowded more and more people and more and more people who can and aspire to live like us, that only goes one way towards the kind of explosive demand on resources that Paul just discussed.

Climate change 'will end economic growth'

HT Justmeans via twitter

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Who are you going to trust?

Kjell Aleklett, professor of physics at Uppsala and co-author of a new report "The Peak of the Oil Age", claims oil production is more likely to be 75m barrels a day by 2030 than the "unrealistic" 105m used by the IEA in its recently published World Energy Outlook 2009. The academic, who runs a Global Energy unit at Uppsala, described the IEA's report as a "political document" developed for consuming countries with a vested interest in low prices

Oil: future world shortages are being drastically underplayed, say experts

Mark Lynas etc.

There is perhaps a certain discomfort about the fact that one of the best options for tackling global warming just so happens to be a technology that greens had spent decades opposing before climate change even hit the agenda. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard green groups insisting that climate change is the "greatest challenge ever to face humanity". Yet their refusal to reassess their inherited positions against nuclear power suggest that none of them actually believe what they are saying – or that most environmentalists are prepared to take refuge in ideologically motivated wishful thinking even when the future of the planet is at stake.

What Italy's nuclear referendum means for climate change

Six Steps to Hell

(Reuters) - A halving of a global nuclear power expansion after Japan's Fukushima disaster would increase global growth in carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent through 2035, the IEA said on Wednesday.

The International Energy Agency warned last month that a political goal to limit climate change to safer levels was barely achievable after global emissions rose by near 6 percent in 2010.

Nuclear retreat to add 30 percent to CO2 growth: IEA

Monday, June 13, 2011

China's woes

China's extreme drought turns to deadly flood

China's drought is for some a demonstration of how global warming could increasingly disrupt nature's balance.

Torrential rain in two drought-stricken central China provinces triggered landslides and brought down houses [Reuters]

After six months of crippling drought conditions China is now facing more extreme weather in the form of heavy downpours that have brought flooding to over a dozen provinces.

In Hunan province, over 200 mm of rain fell in a 6 hour period - for the country that kind of rain is seen only once every 300 years.

So far over 100 people have been killed in floods and landslides in just the last 10 days.

In Maojiazu village, in Yueyang, the heavy rain caused a mudslide that wiped away 20 homes and killed at least 20 residents.

Another seven people are still missing under boulders and dense mud, and presumed dead, the Xianhua news agency reported.

Government officials are preparing for more landslides and flooding as water levels in some reservoirs have reached alarming levels.

The China Meteorological Agency has raised its emergency response in order to deal with the upcoming heavy rain and to put disaster relief agencies on alert for more impending disasters.

In just the next few days rainfall amounts are expected to be between 120 mm and 240 mm, with some isolated locations reaching to almost 300mm.

This is on average between 30 and 70 per cent more than average for this time of year.

For the north, drought conditions are still expected to persist until the summer monsoon rains reach the region at the end of the month.

China's extreme drought turns to deadly flood

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Will we see weather settle down? La Nina is over.
Wait and see.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A link between climate change and Joplin tornadoes? Never.

an op-ed by Bill McKibben, author and founder of, narrated and illustrated by Stephen Thomson of
Original piece by Bill McKibbenclimate

Rethinking Climate Change: The Past 150 Years and the Next 100 Years

Rethinking Climate Change: The Past 150 Years and the Next 100 Years

Todd Stern

The Role of International Negotiations in Addressing the Climate Challenge

climate refugees

42 million displaced by natural disasters in 2010
More than twice as many people forced to flee as in 2009; Experts eye climate change as driving increase in storms and floods

"The intensity and frequency of extreme weather events is increasing, and this trend is only set to continue. With all probability, the number of those affected and displaced will rise as human-induced climate change comes into full force," said Elisabeth Rasmusson, the secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council.
In the United States, tornadoes have wreaked havoc from Alabama to Massachusetts, while floods have inundated states from Montana to Louisiana. In the southwest Missouri city of Joplin, the U.S.'s deadliest tornado in six decades killed at least 141 people and destroyed more than 8,000 homes in a city of about 50,000 people.
read more here

And then there's fires:

The National Weather Service has issued a 'Red Flag Warning' for southeastern Arizona, most of New Mexico, as well as parts of northern Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma as amid critical fire weather conditions.

Photos: Latest Photos: Wallow Fire Burns 300,000 Acres, Thousands Evacuated

Wildfires have burned more than 3million acres so far this year in the drought-stricken southern tier of states, mainly in Texas and New Mexico. The drought has stretched west to Arizona and as far east as Georgia.

Firefighters use fire to redirect blaze in eastern Arizona

Learn more about climate change in California,

Go explore Cal-Adapt

HT Global Warming Climate Change Report

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Prescription for Survival

"Prescription for Survival": A Debate on the Future of Nuclear Energy Between Anti-Coal Advocate George Monbiot and Anti-Nuclear Activist Dr. Helen Caldicott

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Some thoughts

I think Hansen said in one of the videos I've posted that it will be strange not having a stable coastline. In the decades to come sea level will change at an accelerated rate. The beach you went to as a kid will no longer exist.

Infrastructure will cost a ton of bucks to replace, e.g. SFO. That money will, therefore, not be available to spend elsewhere... like for health care.

I read a lot of fiction... I am fond of thrillers. Whenever I buy a book I make sure it was not written too long ago. The advent of the internet and cell phone make many of the older plots fall apart.

This will be true in the future as well. Stories that are set in New Orleans or Florida... will have an expiration date, as, in the decades and centuries to come, these places disappear. Even if we succeed in arresting climate change, this is true. What's already begun will continue.

As a species, especially in modern times, we're not used to maps having to be redrawn ever decade or so.

Would you pay $10 for an avocado or an orange?
What will you do when gas is $10/gal?

As food becomes more and more expensive because of drought, flood and fuel prices, what do you think is going to happen to the economy? Will you eat out as often? Where will you trim spending to cover the extra costs of food and fuel? How will that impact your town? Your neighbors? Your job?

Where do you live? Are you in a place prone to flood? Drought? Tornados? Hurricanes? Do you feel safe now? Do you think you'll feel the same in a decade? Two?

It's all connected... and it's all going to change... faster than any of us will be comfortable with. And that is optimistic!


Thursday, June 2, 2011


Very good overview. Even a couple things I had not heard before (mercury).


Future historians are likely to identify the Bush administration’s rash invasion of Iraq in that year as the start of America's downfall. However, instead of the bloodshed that marked the end of so many past empires, with cities burning and civilians slaughtered, this twenty-first century imperial collapse could come relatively quietly through the invisible tendrils of economic collapse or cyberwarfare
With just a few strokes of the pen and some terse announcements, the "Carter Doctrine," by which U.S. military power was to eternally protect the Persian Gulf, is laid to rest in 2025. All the elements that long assured the United States limitless supplies of low-cost oil from that region -- logistics, exchange rates, and naval power -- evaporate. At this point, the U.S. can still cover only an insignificant 12 percent of its energy needs from its nascent alternative energy industry, and remains dependent on imported oil for half of its energy consumption.

The oil shock that follows hits the country like a hurricane, sending prices to startling heights, making travel a staggeringly expensive proposition, putting real wages (which had long been declining) into freefall, and rendering non-competitive whatever American exports remained. With thermostats dropping, gas prices climbing through the roof, and dollars flowing overseas in return for costly oil, the American economy is paralyzed. With long-fraying alliances at an end and fiscal pressures mounting, U.S. military forces finally begin a staged withdrawal from their overseas bases.

Within a few years, the U.S. is functionally bankrupt and the clock is ticking toward midnight on the American Century

How America will collapse (by 2025)

Not a word in the article about climate change or peak oil... and even without them, this author paints a terrifying picture of America's future.

We need to have a clear picture of the gloomy future to prepare for it, to mitigate, adapt and survive.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Aubrey Meyer: Economics of genocide

Not high quality, and you might get bored... but worth slogging through IMHO.

Some shocking stuff.