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Climate - Nov 6

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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage.

Greenhouse Gases Have Surpassed the Worst-Case Scenario

Adam Martin, Atlantic Wire
In your depressing environmental news for the day, the Associated Press reports worldwide greenhouse gases jumped higher than it ever had from 2009 to 2010, surpassing a worst-case scenario predicted four years ago. Citing new figures from the U.S. Department of Energy, AP science writer Seth Borenstein notes the level of carbon dioxide, which traps heat in the earth's atmosphere, had shot up by six percent in 2010 from 2009 -- an increase of 564 million tons.
(3 November 2011)
The Guardian has more: Greenhouse gases rise by record amount.

Burning the skeptics: a false flag campaign against the concept of man made global warming

Ugo Bardi
You may have seen the disgusting "no-pressure" video of last year, where global warming skeptics were made to explode in a burst of blood. Now, there comes a new one, similar. It is "Combustible," where we see a climate skeptic catching fire, turning into ashes, and leaving only his eyeballs on the sidewalk. "Combustible" is just slightly less disgusting than "No Pressure" was and perhaps a bit more subtle. Here, the hapless skeptic burns by itself, whereas in the earlier movie we actually see environmentalists pushing the kill button. But the message of both movies is exactly the same: environmentalists are murderers who enjoy seeing people suffering. Indeed, "Combustible" was understood in this way in the comments to it at the WUWT site.

Who made this crap? Apparently, it was created by a professional advertising agency, "Realm." But there is a problem here: even if it does it "pro bono", an advertising agency acts on the basis of a request from a customer. An agency, in itself, doesn't have the competency to devise a campaign from scratch. Indeed, when Realm created an environmental ad in 2009 it was for a real and traceable environmental association, Earthshare of Georgia. But for the "Combustible" video there is no such traceable sponsor. At the end of the movie, you can read "" But, at present, there doesn't exist a site with that name and the link only leads you to Bill Clinton's climate initiative, where (obviously) you find no trace of this video. WUWT suggests that the video originates from WWF, but, again, the the link provided only leads to an announcement of an open position and there no trace of this video in the whole WWF site. Another link supposed to identify the sponsors leads only to a speech of President Obama on climate change. It is a game of mirrors: there is no way to know who is behind this video.

So, how come that this video is "orphan" in the sense that it cannot be linked to any known (or even newly born) environmental organization? I think the most obvious explanation is that "Combustible" is a fake environmental movie. It is, actually, a false flag video designed to smear the environmental movement, depicting its members as murderers.
(5 November 2011)

Keystone XL: Game over?

raypierre, Real Climate
The impending Obama administration decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would tap into the Athabasca Oil Sands production of Canada, has given rise to a vigorous grassroots opposition movement, leading to the arrests so far of over a thousand activists. At the very least, the protests have increased awareness of the implications of developing the oil sands deposits. Statements about the pipeline abound.

Jim Hansen has said that if the Athabasca Oil Sands are tapped, it’s “essentially game over” for any hope of achieving a stable climate. The same news article quotes Bill McKibben as saying that the pipeline represents “the fuse to biggest carbon bomb on the planet.” Others say the pipeline is no big deal, and that the brouhaha is sidetracking us from thinking about bigger climate issues. David Keith, energy and climate pundit at Calgary University, expresses that sentiment here, and Andy Revkin says “it’s a distraction from core issues and opportunities on energy and largely insignificant if your concern is averting a disruptive buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere”. There’s something to be said in favor of each point of view, but on the whole, I think Bill McKibben has the better of the argument, with some important qualifications. Let’s do the arithmetic.

There is no shortage of environmental threats associated with the Keystone XL pipeline. Notably, the route goes through the environmentally sensitive Sandhills region of Nebraska, a decision opposed even by some supporters of the pipeline. One could also keep in mind the vast areas of Alberta that are churned up by the oil sands mining process itself. But here I will take up only the climate impact of the pipeline and associated oil sands exploitation. For that, it is important to first get a feel for what constitutes an “important” amount of carbon.

That part is relatively easy. The kind of climate we wind up with is largely determined by the total amount of carbon we emit into the atmosphere as CO2 in the time before we finally kick the fossil fuel habit (by choice or by virtue of simply running out).
(2 November 2011)
Suggested by EB contributor Bill Henderson who writes:
"One of the biggest things missing in discussions on tar sands climate impact is the full wells-to-wheels carbon accounting. James Hansen has made this point repeatedly, but this article is one of the few to do it in a more "media" venue.

"Activists in BC have been talking about the full carbon accounting of BC Coal for a couple years now. Good to see it making into the tar sands discussions finally."

- BA

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