Distrust of climate science due to lack of media literacy: researcher
Though most climate science studies show evidence that climate change is real, the public persists in distrusting the science.
That’s because of the doubt planted by climate change skeptics in the media and a lack of “media literacy education,” asserts Caren Cooper, a research associate who works on citizen science projects at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, in a Forum article in the March issue of BioScience magazine.
Evidence shows that media literacy education would help the public critique media messages and better assess the truth behind them, Cooper says.
“To be climate change literate, the public must first be media literate,” since print, TV and radio reports and opinion pieces are the main ways that the public gets its information about climate change science, Cooper says. (PhysOrg.com)
Do they not know of climategate, for example? The public is at least vaguely aware they have been lied to, constantly misled, subjected to endless scare campaigns and that nothing has happened. How often do they think the public will mindlessly accept the clock running out on “only 10 years before [some extraordinary, probably civilization-ending disaster]” with the reality being that human lifespans are still increasing and technology is improving life in at least the developed and developing worlds?
The public can now reach and find information on say, accumulated cyclone energy from university sites and see that, well gosh, despite all the stories of CAGW armageddon, the world has actually been less violently stormy. They don’t need talking heads to tell them they must be afraid because a guy in a white coat said so.
I would suggest the public are far more media literate than these guys are comfortable with.
Monbiot vs McKibben: nuclear civil war inside the green movement
Andrew Revkin has noticed the diametrically opposite conclusions extracted from the recent events in Fukushima. He is comparing two opinions in the Guardian:
Japan’s horror reveals how thin is the edge we live on by Bill McKibben
Why Fukushima made me stop worrying and love nuclear power by George Monbiot
The difference between the two opinions of the two environmentalists – who are approximately as famous as they are infamous – couldn’t be more striking. Note that Bill McKibben has founded the movement worshiping the number 350, among many other similar idiotic concepts.
To be sure, comparable differences in the opinion about the nuclear energy exist between climate realists, too. Yes, I do realize that many TRF readers oppose nuclear energy. However, the pro-nuclear vs anti-nuclear tension is simply not that important between the climate realists because all of us know that we ultimately have one key realistic energy “alternative” – it’s called the fossil fuels. (The Reference Frame)
The Evil Empire Strikes Back: Google ‘Flags’ Website Skeptical of Global Warming
by Christopher C. Horner
Boy, them Googlers Act Fast.
Climate ’skeptic’ website ICECAP posted this item noting Google’s latest gambit in global warming activism, which includes bringing on board as an advisor an academic whose name and address pop up with some frequency in the ClimateGate emails.
Apparently in response, Google has flagged ICECAP’s website with this warning, discouraging traffic:
“This site may be compromised.“
ICECAP host Joe D’Aleo, the first meteorologist at the Weather Channel before that operation sold out to the alarmist industry, brought this to my attention and assures me this warning was not the case until now. He also attests that the site is not compromised. We just have a co-incidence of challenge followed by inaccuracy, is all.
So not only are the Google crowd global warming rent-seekers looking to rob Peter (you, the taxpayer and ratepayer) to pay their Paul, they are activists who fit in very well with their chosen crowd.
One more good reason to go elsewhere for your searching. (Big Government)
Hide the Decline: Sciencemag # 3
The day before yesterday, I reported that Briffa and Osborn (Science 1999) had not just deleted the post=1960 decline (see also CA here), but had deleted the pre-1550 portion as well – the deletions contributing to an unwarranted rhetorical impression of consistency between the reconstructions, an impression that was capitalized upon in the commentary in the running text of Briffa and Osborn 1999.
Figure 1. Annotated version of Briffa and Osborn 1999 Figure 1. See here and here for derivation.
What Really Threatens Our Future?
Japan is grappling with a triple tragedy: earthquake, tsunami and possible nuclear radiation. This has brought rolling blackouts, as authorities strive to meet electricity demands with reduced supplies and crippled transmission lines.
However, power cuts and inadequate power are routine in developing countries like India. For them, going without electricity for hours or even days is the norm, not the exception.
But now, the UK’s power grid CEO is warning Brits that their days of reliable electricity are numbered. Because of climate change and renewable energy policies, families, schools, offices, shops, hospitals and factories will just have to “get used to” consuming electricity “when it’s available,” not necessarily when they want it or need it.
UN IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri justifies this absurd situation by sermonizing, “Unless we live in harmony with nature, unless we are able to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and adopt renewable energy sources, and until we change our lifestyles, the world will increasingly become unfit for human habitation.”
Thus, people in poor countries who never had access to reliable electricity may be denied it even longer, while people in rich countries could soon face new electricity shortages.
Everything you need to know about the most recent gun-control debate (but didn’t have anyone to ask), Part 1
[Everything you need to know about the most recent gun-control debate (but didn’t have anyone to ask), Part II]
By Jeff Winkler
After some relatively quiet years, the national gun debate locked and loaded for another round last week after President Obama hinted his desire to reform the current background check system. Plenty has happened in the past few years with both sides entrenched in deep partisan arguments. To prepare readers for the onslaught of over-exaggerated political rhetoric, ambitious policies and former victims crying before the camera, The Daily Caller is launching a multi-part guide for readers not entirely up to snuff.
So much for a new non-partisan discussion
On Sunday March 13, President Obama took his first tiny steps into reigniting the debate over America’s oldest pastime: firearms.
He pleaded that we “find a sensible way to make the United States of America a safer, stronger place.” Avoiding the word “debate” in all but one instance (“… we can get beyond … stale political debates”), President Obama called for a “common sense” discussion.
That lasted less than 72 hours.
On Tuesday March 15, some of the staunchest liberals in Congress appeared with New York Mayor Michael “No Labels” Bloomberg in front of the Capitol to call for a “common sense” debate that just happens to include a whole host of new gun-control proposals. The centerpiece to this common sense discussion are two bills in the House and Senate that would be the first major reforms of national gun laws since the 1993 Brady Bill.
Nary a Republican has commented on the issue. The NRA has essentially refused to join in on the “discussion” aside from responding to Obama’s plea with a strong ‘yeah-thanks-but-no-thanks’ letter.
So, for those curious about the firearms debate but unsure what to think without conservative leadership, here’s the idiot’s guide to the 2011 “common sense” discussion. (Daily Caller)
Throwing food away sends world’s scarce water gushing down the plughole
Britons bin millions of tonnes of food each year – a crime compounded by the waste of all the water used to grow it
As consumers throw millions of tonnes of uneaten food into the bin each year, few give a thought to the hidden cost of such waste – the water that it took to grow the food.
But new research shows that we throw away, on average, twice as much water per year in the form of uneaten food as we use for washing and drinking.
What is worse, increasing amounts of our food comes from countries where water is scarce, meaning the food we discard has a huge hidden impact on the depletion of valuable water resources across the world.
According to the first comprehensive study into the impact of the “embedded water” in the UK’s food waste on world water supplies, more than a 5% of the water used by the UK is thrown away in the form of uneaten food. (Guardian)
A bit early for April 1 so I suppose we’d better respond to this absurdity once more.
Is Cap-and-Trade Kaput?
While the U.S. has abandoned carbon trading, Europe is staying the course.
Virginia, US What’s in a name? Everything when it comes to a carbon dioxide cap-and-trade programme in the US. Energy industry prognosticators saw US adoption as almost inevitable just two years ago following the election of President Obama. Then opponents dubbed the initiative ‘cap-and-tax’, a moniker that became a death knell in a political climate wary of raising taxes. Cap-and-trade legislation died with neither a bang nor a whimper; but with a slammed door. Meaningful political debate stopped on the federal level, and the words ‘greenhouse gases’ apparently ceased to be used in Washington, DC.
‘Cap-and-trade has become a political anathema,’ says Jennifer Smokelin, a US environmental attorney with Reed Smith who specialises in climate issues. ‘I think it is safe to say anything called cap-and-trade, and anything that functions substantially like cap-and-trade, will not be passed as a legislative act in this Congress,’ says Smokelin.
What does US abandonment of cap-and-trade mean to the world, specifically Europe, which has the only major functioning carbon market? And will the renewable energy industry still thrive, without a US carbon trading programme? (Renewable Energy World)
EPA bears the brunt of Republican ire
By Matthew Kennard in Washington
Even for Arch Coal, the second-largest coal producer in the US, its Spruce mine was an ambitious project. In 1998, the company unveiled its plan to build the largest mountaintop extraction operation in West Virginia’s history, a 3,000-acre site with huge mineral deposits.
The Missouri-based company was granted a permit for the project by the US Army Corps of Engineers in 2007. But late in 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency vetoed the permit under the Clean Water Act. The EPA ruled the new project “may result in unacceptable adverse impacts to fish and wildlife resources”, adding that “the damage from this project would be irreversible”. The project remains stalled after Arch Coal filed a lawsuit to defend the original permit.
This story, alongside others, have become causes célèbres for the Republican party and their allies in the business community. As the deficit has put lawmakers on the prowl for agencies to cut, the EPA has become the regulatory whipping boy, a symbol for the right of the red tape that will stop US business from driving the economic recovery.
A tale of two deserts
Climate Progress reports on a problem in Texas that is causing the state’s rural population to relocate. The reasons given are global warming and poor resource management:
One of the major reasons that there’s such a radical population shift is that central Texas is changing from arid grassland to uninhabitable desert, in part due to greenhouse pollution from the fossil fuels once buried under the ground. Other unsustainable practices, such as overpumping of groundwater, unregulated sprawl, and poor conservation practices are accelerating the desertification [emphasis mine]
Sounds bad, right? It is. Here’s a selection of quotes on Texan desertification (from CP):
- 2002: “Texas ranchers feel drought sting.”
- 2003: “Central Texas is in the midst of a seven-year drought.”
- 2005: “It’s been dry, it is dry, and it will likely stay dry through the winter, according to the state’s climatologist Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon based at Texas A&M University’s College of Geosciences.”
- 2006: “Texas’ drought losses have reached an estimated $4.1 billion, eclipsing the $2.1 billion mark set in 1998, according to Texas Cooperative Extension economists.”
There’s more, all in the same vein. Drought is bad. Farmers suffer. Ranchers are out of business and none of this is a good thing because global warming is to blame.
California’s global warming law takes a hit
By Paul Rogers
In a setback that could stall the rollout of California’s landmark climate change law, a court in San Francisco has ruled that the state must spend more time studying alternatives to the measure’s key feature — a cap-and-trade program on greenhouse gas emissions — before it goes into effect Jan. 1.
San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith blocked the California Air Resources Board from moving forward with its rules under the law, known as AB 32, until it completes a more thorough environmental analysis. That could take months, putting into question whether the rules will take effect next year as planned.
Ironically, the law, signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006, survived industry challenges, and most recently an attempt by Texas oil companies to halt it when voters rejected Proposition 23 in November. But now, it has been tripped up by a challenge from a handful of small nonprofit environmental groups. (Mercury News)
Van Jones: Fracking is poisoning our water
by MYRON EBELL on MARCH 22, 2011
The New York Times has a story on the front page of its business section headlined, “Natural Gas Now Viewed as Safer Bet.” Politico’s Morning Energy reports that Van Jones tweeted a response: “At least until the public learns that fracking poisons H2O.”
Van Jones appears to be a serious person. He is certainly highly respected in the liberal academic and political establishment. He earned a law degree at Yale University, founded three leftist activist organizations, and wrote a book, the Green Collar Economy. Time magazine named him a Hero of the Environment.
Nuclear Reality Bites
By Andres Cala
European Union energy ministers agreed to disagree during an emergency meeting Monday to analyze the fallout (no pun intended) of Fukushima’s nuclear disaster on EU’s energy plans. Their conclusions implied the obvious about the future of nuclear energy: it’s indispensable for the time being and the debate should be about improving security around it, not phasing it out.
European ministers agreed stress tests are required to gauge how its 143 reactors –a third of the world’s total- would withstand earthquakes, floods, terrorism, and power loss. Austrian and German led efforts to standardize and legally bind the tests were rejected though and the ultimate make-up of the assessments won’t be decided until later this year.