The global warming novel from l962: The Drowned World

In 1962, in his second novel, The Drowned World, J.G. Ballard told a story of steadily rising global temperatures, of ice caps melting and rising seas, of humidity and rains and lizards moving into skyscrapers. It's an extraordinary book, for its imagination and artistry and language, but also for its vison of global warming. MightContinue reading “The global warming novel from l962: The Drowned World”

The real split in global warming politics: Young vs old

A great Washington Wire column in the Wall Street Journal quantifies the true political split on the queston of global warming. It's not Republican vs. Democrat. It's old versus young. In the words of pollster Dante Chinni: While politicians and the media tend to focus on the Democratic/Republican divide on the issue, the real splitContinue reading “The real split in global warming politics: Young vs old”

Wall Street Journal vs. James Hansen on 2012 temps

In an editorial this weekend in the Wall Street Journal, columnist Holman Jenkins scoffed at the reporting of the NOAA statement that 2012 was the hottest year ever in the instrumental record in these United States. Jenkins wrote:  When the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says 2012 was the hottest year on record in theContinue reading “Wall Street Journal vs. James Hansen on 2012 temps”

A to Z in the environment in 2012

A is for ARCTIC, once ice-bound year round, but no longer, as ice and snow coverage this summer in the Arctic this year plunged to an all-time low. This will amplify warming over time, but in the short-term, forecasters say warming summers in the far north tends to bring cold winters to Europe and theContinue reading “A to Z in the environment in 2012”

A quick fix for global warming: Replace kerosene lamps

A new study out of UC Berkeley finds that simply replacing kerosene lamps, used by approx one billion people around the world, could substantially reduce black carbon, a tremendously effective heating agent in the atmosphere. From the press release: "7 to 9 percent of the kerosene in wick lamps — used for light in 250-300Continue reading “A quick fix for global warming: Replace kerosene lamps”

Is Earth d**med? AGU scientist Jason Box wants to know

Credit where credit is due: Brilliant story on this year's AGU by Jonathan Mingle in Slate.  Many of us have wondered at some point in almost precisely these terms: “Is Earth F**ked?” But it’s not the sort of frank query you expect an expert in geomorphology to pose to his colleagues as the title ofContinue reading “Is Earth d**med? AGU scientist Jason Box wants to know”

McKibben stands up for the climate against Obama admin

Bill McKibben vs. Obama administrators: In March, 2009, the White House invited leaders of environmental organizations to a meeting. The invitees thought they were going to hear about the president’s strategy on climate change, in preparation for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen in December. And they did — aides to theContinue reading “McKibben stands up for the climate against Obama admin”

Cutting government in a time of “natural” disasters

Krugman has some words for it (Sandy vs. Katrina):  Consider, in particular, the history of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Under President George H. W. Bush, FEMA became a dumping ground for unqualified political hacks. Faced with a major test in the form of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the agency failed completely. Then Bill ClintonContinue reading “Cutting government in a time of “natural” disasters”

Climate change is like leprosy to the GOP: Untouchable

When Timothy Egan is good, he is great:  Climate change is to the Republican base what leprosy once was to healthy humans — untouchable and unmentionable. Their party is financed by people whose fortunes are dependent upon denying that humans have caused the earth’s weather patterns to change for the worse. From, of course, TheContinue reading “Climate change is like leprosy to the GOP: Untouchable”