#climate change


Anthony Leiserowitz on Making People Care About Climate Change

Remember climate change? The issue barely came up during the presidential campaigns, and little has been said since. But bringing climate change back into our national conversation is as much a communications challenge as it is a scientific one.

Scientist Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, joins Bill to describe his efforts to do what even Hurricane Sandy couldn’t — galvanize communities over what’s arguably the greatest single threat facing humanity. Leiserowitz, who specializes in the psychology of risk perception, knows better than anyone if people are willing to change their behavior to make a difference.

“[A] pervasive sense up to now has been that climate change is distant — distant in time, and distant in space,” Leiserowitz tells Bill. “And what we’re now beginning to see is that it’s not so distant. It’s not just future generations. It’s us and it’s our own children. I have a nine-year-old son — he’s going to be my age in the year 2050. I don’t want him to live in the world that we’re currently hurtling towards.”

More about Anthony Leiserowitz »

Would this kind of storm happen without climate change? Yes. Fueled by many factors. Is storm stronger because of climate change? Yes.” Eric Pooley, senior vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund (and former deputy editor of Bloomberg Businessweek), offers a baseball analogy: “We can’t say that steroids caused any one home run by Barry Bonds, but steroids sure helped him hit more and hit them farther. Now we have weather on steroids.
- via cwl, It’s Global Warming, Stupid
If you cut down more trees than you grow, you run out of trees. If you put additional nitrogen into a water system, you change the type and quantity of life that water can support. If you thicken the Earth’s CO2 blanket, the Earth gets warmer. If you do all these and many more things at once, you change the way the whole system of planet Earth behaves, with social, economic, and life support impacts. This is not speculation; this is high school science.
- via robcayman


Wildfires in Eastern Oregon kill hundreds (perhaps thousands) of cattle, burns hundreds acres of prime land. Photos: KBOmore here.

Awful… just awful. 

Yes, does the climate change? Of course it does, it’s changed for thousands of years. But the idea that one factor, and man’s contribution to that one factor, of which there are hundreds of factors that have an influence on climate, that that one factor of which man’s contribution is a small part of, is somehow the tip of that tail that wags the whole dog, and that we have to change all of our economic policy based on that, is just a pure overreaction that is not backed up by any kind of real evidence.

- Rick Santorum via Santorum to Huntsman: Yes, You’re Crazy (via spytap)

There are so many things wrong with this statement, but the one I’m going to jump on is the following: the earth is not thousands of years old - it’s billions of years old. The climate has changed for billions of years. Billions, not thousands.

Furthermore, I’m going to be very loud and very clear here that if you truly believe that the earth is only thousands of years old - based I can only imagine on the “infallible word” of a single, poorly translated document overruling an overwhelming preponderance of evidence - then your inability to critically think, understand basic first-grade science, and/or divorce your personal beliefs should immediately disqualify you from candidacy for any political office.

I’ll even double-down on that one and make it even more clear: If your religion flies in the face of accepted science, and you accept those religious tenets as being more accurate than science, then you should not be allowed to hold a political position in this country. Your own irrationality and your own inability to differentiate science and religion has disqualified you, and under no circumstances should you be allowed to hold sway over people’s lives and livelihoods. We should not accept willful ignorance from the people who run and rule the most powerful country the planet has ever seen and we should not allow that ignorance to burden the populace at large.

To be totally clear, I’m not denigrating religion here, though full disclosure demands I admit to finding them all a bit silly. What I am denigrating is the wanton disregard of established fact in favor of personal religious opinion by those in a position to affect millions of others with that opinion. Freedom of religion in this country goes both ways - you’re free to believe what you wish, but you cannot assume that your beliefs should translate or influence other people. THAT’S what the first amendment guarantees: not just the freedom to worship, but the freedom from undue influence of any single religion, including Christianity.

We are not a “Christian Nation.” This is an indisputable fact. Do you know how I can say this? Because in the Treaty of Tripoli, signed only five years after the adoption of the First Amendment, and one of the few items put before the Senate to be unanimously ratified, it states:

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,

That seems fairly clear to me.

The outright denial of science in your political decision-making because it interferes with your religious viewpoint is no different than demanding a population-wide acceptance of your religion. It’s really that simple. You’re welcome to believe what you want to believe, but I’m welcome to demand that the people who hold sway over the country as a whole be able to critically think and divorce their personal religious sentiments from the actions that directly affect me as a United States citizen.

If they cannot do so - if their religious delusion is so great that they can’t or won’t accept commonly understood science like the established age of our planet - then they should not holding political office in ours or any other country that has enacted and still recognizes a separation between church and state. Anything less, and we should just admit that the whole uproar over “Sharia Law” is really just because you want to get there first with yours.