Harvard faculty letter: divest university from fossil fuels


Harvard photo"Our University invests in the fossil fuel industry: this is for us the central issue," 100 Harvard faculty members have written in a letter to the President of the university. They say: "Our sense of urgency in signing this Letter cannot be overstated. ... Divestment is an act of ethical responsibility, a protest against current practices that cannot be altered as quickly or effectively by other means. ... [N]ot only must research and education be pursued with vigor, pressure must also be exerted.  If there is no pressure, then grievous harm due to climate change will accelerate and entrench itself for a span of time that will make the history of Harvard look short." Continue reading

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"Years of Living Dangerously" TV series on climate change premieres April 13


James Cameron, legendary film director and producer (Titanic, Avatar...) and innovative deep-sea explorer, brings his extraordinary ability to telling the story of global climate change. The first in a 9-part documentary series called Years of Living Dangerously, featuring well-known correspondents (Harrison Ford, Matt Damon...) and journalists (Chris Hayes, Tom Friedman, Lesley Stahl...) and the expertise of leading scientists, premieres on Showtime, the premium U.S. cable service, on Sunday, April 13, at 10pm EDT. The producers of the series are led by veteran journalists from "60 Minutes" who have won 18 Emmys. As an introduction, here's the first hour-long episode:

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Posted in Climate Change Education and Communication | 2 Comments

100+ scientists and economists call on Obama and Kerry to reject Keystone XL


From an open letter on April 7: "A critical first step is to stop making climate change worse by tapping into disproportionately carbon-intensive energy sources like tar sands bitumen. The Keystone XL pipeline will drive expansion of the energy-intensive strip-mining and drilling of tar sands from under Canada's Boreal forest, increasing global carbon emissions. ... [T]he State Department environmental review [used] business-as-usual energy scenarios that would lead to a catastrophic six degrees Celsius rise in global warming. ... Six degrees Celsius of global warming has no place in a sound climate plan." Full text and list of signers below. Continue reading

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Wall Street Journal misquotes IPCC to advocate inaction on climate change


A new editorial in the Wall Street Journal distorts and cherry-picks quotations from the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, asserting that the report walks back on climate alarm. In fact, we’re in more climate trouble than we’ve ever been, and the report makes this clear. Any fair reading of the report itself leaves an indisputable conclusion: Neither economic growth nor adaptation will solve the climate change problem on its own.

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Posted in Assessments of Climate Impacts and Adaptation, Global Warming Denial Machine | 1 Comment

Assessing IPCC climate report, The Economist draws conclusion at odds with report itself


The Economist offers a watered-down reading of the recently released IPCC assessment report on climate change Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. The article discusses the report’s dire warnings about the impacts of climate change if current trends continue.  But it draws conclusions that misrepresent and minimize the level of agreement among scientists and the urgency of our need for climate action. Continue reading

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IPCC climate change Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability assessment poses urgent challenge for risk management


"We're now in an era where climate change isn't some kind of future hypothetical," said Chris Field, co-chair of the IPCC Working Group II 2014 climate change assessment report on Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. "We live in an era where impacts from climate change are already widespread and consequential." 115 governments accepted the report, unanimously approved the text of the "Summary for Policymakers," and released the report on March 31 in Yokohama. The summary mentions the word "risk" an average of about 5 1/2 times per page, according to a report in the Associated Press. That sounds about right. The scientists do risk assessment; it's up to the rest of us to do risk management commensurate with the global problem they have characterized and warned us about with increasing urgency. Continue reading

Posted in Assessments of Climate Impacts and Adaptation | 3 Comments

Outlier scientist seeks spotlight as new IPCC report outlines climate risks


The IPCC climate change assessment report on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, to be released in Japan on March 31, highlights the grave risks we face as the climate changes. But some news coverage previewing the release has focused on the views of Richard Tol, an IPCC author who opted to withdraw from the author team drafting the report summary to seek a larger spotlight for his outlier views. Continue reading

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Previewing the new IPCC assessment of risks of climate change impacts


Several news sources, including The Guardian, the Associated Press, and the Yomiuri Shimbun, have published articles from Japan previewing some strong conclusions to expect in the IPCC climate change assessment report on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, to be released in Yokohama on March 31. It's good to see this latest IPCC report on the impacts of global climatic disruption, drafted and reviewed by many of the leading scientists in multiple disciplines, focusing on risk assessment, risk management, and preparedness. Continue reading

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Matt Ridley op-ed is a laundry list of IPCC misrepresentations


Right on cue, Matt Ridley has another error-filled opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal anticipating the forthcoming Working Group II (WG2) release of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) on climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. In reality, the WG2 report reveals that climate change is an increasingly urgent threat and that our level of adaptation and preparedness remains low. Continue reading

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A huge deal: Exxon agrees to evaluate the "stranded asset" risk of climate action


Exxon's agreement to discuss in their financial filings the risk of their assets being stranded by climate policy is a huge deal, marking a milestone in the climate policy battle, writes climate and energy analyst Jonathan Koomey. "The financial markets are starting to realize that the 'booked' reserves of the fossil fuel companies are based on a fallacy... It’s the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel economy, but the big players just don’t realize it yet (or if they realize it, they’re not admitting it)." Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change Mitigation, Energy | 1 Comment