Bernie Sanders has made fighting climate change a central part of his message, and he’s not about to hold back when challenged by someone who questions the scientific consensus that human-caused emissions are behind global warming — even if it’s a teenager.
The Vermont senator, old enough to be the grandfather to many of the attendees at a town hall at Roosevelt High School Thursday, was asked by a 17-year-old about his position on climate change. She said that she was not convinced it was caused by humans.
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“I haven’t seen any actual scientific evidence that global warming is actually happening,” she said. “It’s only very recent. So I’d like to know why you think it’s happening.”
Sanders respond with a polite but firm: “You’re wrong.”
“It is already causing devastating problems in our country and the world. That is what the scientists are saying,” he told her.…
Hundreds of scientists sent a letter to lawmakers Thursday warning National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists may have violated federal laws when they published a 2015 study purporting to eliminate the 15-year “hiatus” in global warming from the temperature record.
“We, the undersigned, scientists, engineers, economists and others, who have looked carefully into the effects of carbon dioxide released by human activities, wish to record our support for the efforts of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology to ensure that federal agencies complied with federal guidelines that implemented the Data Quality Act,” some 300 scientists, engineers and other experts wrote to Chairman of the House Science Committee, Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith.
“In our opinion… NOAA has failed to observe the OMB [Office of Management and Budget] (and its own) guidelines, established in relation to the Data Quality Act.”
The Data Quality Act requires federal agencies like NOAA to “ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information, including statistical information.”
Smith launched an investigation into NOAA’s study last summer over concerns it was pushed out to bolster President Barack Obama’s political agenda. Democrats and the media have largely opposed the probe into NOAA scientists and political appointees, but Smith is determined to continue investigating. NOAA officials surrendered emails to congressional investigators in December.
“It is this Committee’s oversight role to ensure that federal science agencies are transparent and accountable to the taxpayers who fund their research,” Smith told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Americans are tired of research conducted behind closed doors where they only see cherry-picked conclusions, not the facts. This letter shows that hundreds of respected scientists and experts agree that NOAA’s efforts to alter historical temperature data deserve serious scrutiny.”
Of the 300 letter signers, 150 had doctorates in a related field. Signers also included: 25 climate or atmospheric scientists, 23 geologists, 18 meteorologists, 51 engineers, 74 physicists, 20 chemists and 12 economists. Additionally, one signer was a Nobel Prize winning physicist and two were astronauts.
NOAA scientists upwardly adjusted temperature readings taken from the engine intakes of ships to eliminate the “hiatus” in global warming from the temperature record.…
Pope Francis met today during a private audience in Vatican City with actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio. Their conversation focused on how they can work together to address the immediate need for major action to stop the devastating impacts of climate changefrom leaving permanent scars on our planet.
His Holiness sees great urgency in climate change, and has made impassioned pleas before the world community about the threat it poses to our environment, and to the future of human kind. Speaking before a gathering the United Nations General Assembly last September, Pope Francis made this link explicitly clear—any harm done to our environment is harm done to humanity.
The meeting, coming shortly after it was announced that 2015 was officially the hottest year ever recorded, was an opportunity for His Holiness and DiCaprio to specifically identify ways they can inspire and motivate people across the globe to commit to upholding their moral and ethical responsibilities to protect our planet.
Pope Francis and DiCaprio are leading voices in the cause to protect our only home for future generations. Speaking before concerned citizens and leaders of all levels, they have highlighted that this crisis will overwhelmingly impact the poorest and most vulnerable communities of people on earth, making this fight one of fairness, equality and justice.…
Fresh on the heels of the recent news surrounding the increasingly dire climate forecast for our planet, comes a possible warning from the cosmos: climate change in extraterrestrial environments is inevitable and, should life on hypothetically habitable worlds not act as a stabilizer for their environments, it serves as a “sell-by” date for all burgeoning lifeforms.
In new research published in the journal Astrobiology, astronomers of The Australian National University (ANU) pondered this scenario and realized that young habitable planets can become unstable very quickly. What once was a life-giving oasis becomes a hellish hothouse or frozen wasteland very quickly.
“The universe is probably filled with habitable planets, so many scientists think it should be teeming with aliens,” said Aditya Chopra, lead author of the paper. “Early life is fragile, so we believe it rarely evolves quickly enough to survive.”
“Most early planetary environments are unstable. To produce a habitable planet, life forms need to regulate greenhouse gases such as water and carbon dioxide to keep surface temperatures stable,” he said.
Unlike Earth, most worlds will likely not find this balance, ultimately succumbing to being cooked by a runaway greenhouse effect (like Venus) or frozen by a thinning atmosphere (like Mars). Life will often not be fortunate enough to win the race against environmental fluctuations to become a stabilizing factor.
Earth, which already has the stunning fortune to exist at just the right spot around a stable star, spawned life and that life had a role to play in stabilizing its atmosphere as it evolved over that last 4 billion years.
“Life on Earth probably played a leading role in stabilizing the planet’s climate,” said co-investigator Charley Lineweaver, also from ANU.
And this could be why we’re not finding a galaxy filled with alien life — just because there’s a habitable world out there, it doesn’t mean it’s suitable for life for long. It’s yet another hurdle against life from gaining a foothold.
“The mystery of why we haven’t yet found signs of aliens may have less to do with the likelihood of the origin of life or intelligence and have more to do with the rarity of the rapid emergence of biological regulation of feedback cycles on planetary surfaces,” said Chopra.
For now, this is all speculation, but what’s clear from observations of our own planet, is that the mother of all existential self-inflicted bottlenecks is …
– Land measurements …that thermometers over land appear to have serious spurious warming issues from urbanization effects. Anthony Watts is to be credited for spearheading the effort to demonstrate this over the U.S. where recent warming has been exaggerated by about 60%, and I suspect the problem in other regions of the global will be at least as bad. Apparently, the NOAA homogenization procedure forces good data to match bad data. That the raw data has serious spurious warming effects is easy to demonstrate…and has been for the last 50 years in the peer-reviewed literature….why is it not yet explicitly estimated and removed?
– Ocean Measurements …that even some NOAA scientists don’t like the new Karlized ocean surface temperature dataset that made the global warming pause disappear; many feel it also forces good data to agree with bad data. (I see a common theme here.)
– El Nino …that a goodly portion of the record warmth in 2015 was naturally induced, just as it was in previous record warm years.
– Thermometers Still Disagree with Models …that even if 2015 is the warmest on record, and NOAA has exactly the right answer, it is still well below the average forecast of the IPCC’s climate models, and something very close to that average forms the basis for global warming policy. In other words, even if every successive year is a new record, it matters quite a lot just how much warming we are talking about.…
Nation Mag. claim: ‘While Global Temps Rise, the Poor Burn Faster: ‘In order to rebalance the world’s ecology, we’ll have to rebalance its wealth’
Inequality is growing about as fast as the world is warming. That’s no coincidence, according to the latest analysis of the global wealth gap by Oxfam. As the bank accounts of the rich grow, so too does the environmental devastation they wreak through ravenous consumption: The richest 62 people have as much money as half the world’s population. And that lopsided distribution of capital is throwing the world’s ecology off-balance as well.
The Oxfam report on the wealth gap should be read in tandem with a separate report issued to inform the debate around the Paris climate summit. The accord the conference produced centered on a deeply inadequate voluntarily baseline goal to cap the global temperature rise at 2 degrees Celsius. The compromised goal rich nations negotiated stemmed from a combination of corporate greed and political cowardice.…