Hottest Year on Record

Of the four inescapable realities that Republicans are forbidden to acknowledge, climate change is by far the most lethal. After so many millennia of expanding dominance, nature has set a trap for us that we are uniquely ill-suited to avoid.

Climate change takes all of the cultural and technological adaptations we have so successfully incorporated and converts them to a deadly weakness. Now, unless we find a way to collaborate as a species in a manner we have never accomplished before, the natural world will, within an extraordinarily short blink of time, remake itself in ways likely to wreck much of what we have built.

Last year was the hottest on record, again. The last serious scientific dissent over the basic mechanics of climate change faded out twenty years ago, but the problem remains near the bottom of major lists of public priorities.

Carbon pollution is so perfectly designed to defeat our finest strengths as a species that it almost suggests that nature wants us dead. It is invisible to our senses. It emerges at a pace too slow to detect by any means other than science. It mimics a feature that occurs naturally – climate fluctuation. It arrives at a moment when we’ve achieved unprecedented global wealth and freedom through highly individual cultural structures, and demands an intensely collective, collaborative response.

This is how evolution operates. Each disruptive new accomplishment by a species triggers a natural response that brings forth new, more difficult challenges. The more dominant a species becomes, the more daunting the next threat to its existence. We will adapt or we won’t. Ironically, adapting to climate change requires a fine understanding of another of the four inescapable realities Republicans are forbidden to acknowledge – evolution.

There are good solid proposals available that would help us wean ourselves off of carbon fuels. We have technology available that could allow us to ride out or even mitigate much of the damage that will emerge while the Earth absorbs the carbon we’ve already released. That is perhaps the most frustrating element of this problem. We have solutions available, we just lack the cultural adaptations necessary to implement them.

Perhaps as Miami becomes America’s Venice, public opinion will start to shift. Maybe not. Miami already deals with the regular occurrence of what’s called “sunny day flooding.” We’ll see.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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Posted in Climate Change
103 comments on “Hottest Year on Record
  1. Doug says:

    “Last year was the hottest on record, again.”

    This is such BS, on a number of fronts:
    1. The claimed increase over the previous record is .02 degrees. The margin of error is an order of magnitude higher.
    2. By GISS’s own calculations, there is only a 38% percent probability that 2014 was the hottest. That means there is nearly twice the probability that is wasn’t. The press release was a lie, put out for purely political reasons.
    3. Satellite data, which is much more accurate and comprehensive, clearly shows that 2014 was nowhere close to being a record.

    You guys are such suckers.

    • texan5142 says:

      Link to the data please so we can check your source material and verify.

    • johngalt says:

      Yes, do post those data. The measurements from surface stations indicate that 2014 was the warmest year on record. Statistically, this is an insignificant difference from the previous warmest year ever (and the one before that). So perhaps 2014 ended tied with 2010 and 2004 for “Warmest Year Ever!”. This makes you feel better? Behind this group of three of the last 10 years comes another set of years that also cannot be statistically separated: 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013. Seems like a trend to me.

    • goplifer says:

      I love this gambit. Nitpick the fine points to avoid getting trapped into the overwhelming big picture. Satellites, weather stations, and atmospheric measures all create the same picture with minor differences between them.

      Satellites place 2014 as the 3rd warmest year on record, which radically changes nothing. However, as a data point taken out of context it is enormously important. It helps people who desperately want to ignore this problem latch on to something while their Galveston vacation home floats away.

      http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2015/01/21/378665687/was-2014-the-hottest-year-on-record-or-not

      Hang on to those threads. In the meantime, lots of miserable conversations like this are bubbling up. It’s gonna get worse.

      http://www.thebassbarn.com/forum/4-home-port/315911-any-sea-isle-guys-see-new-flood-map.html

      • texan5142 says:

        This is the guy that is pushing around the information that Doug is using. He runs this site,

        http://www.climatedepot.com/2015/01/16/scientists-balk-at-hottest-year-claims-we-are-arguing-over-the-significance-of-hundredths-of-a-degree-the-pause-continues/

        Here is some information on Marc Morano,

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Morano

        He began his career working for Rush Limbaugh from 1992 to 1996, during which time he was known as “Limbaugh’s man in Washington”.[1] After 1996, he began working for Cybercast News Service, where he was the first to publish the accusations from Swift-Boat veterans that John Kerry had allegedly exaggerated his military service record.[3] He also worked for the Family Research Council, which hired him in 1996 to report on an AIDS fundraising dance party held in the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. Morano’s eyewitness account of the party alleged that numerous illegal activities, such as drug use and performance of fellatio on the dance floor, had taken place there. This led to California Republican Bob Dornan criticizing Steve Gunderson for allowing the brunch held the day after the dance party to take place in the Rayburn House Office Building. Gunderson replied that Morano and Dornan had deliberately misrepresented the events that happened at the party, and that security did not notice any illegal activities there.[4]

        The list presented by Morano in his minority 2007-2008 report has been criticized by Joseph J. Romm for including a significant number of people who are not sufficiently well-qualified to assess climate science, such as author Ray Kurzweil and a number of television meteorologists, such as Steve Baskerville, as well as scientists whose expertise is in geomagnetism.[9]

        Michael E. Mann has called Morano a “hired assassin” who “spreads malicious lies about scientists.”[10] At the end of 2012 Media Matters for America named Morano the “Climate Change Misinformer of the Year.”[11] The German magazine Zeit has described him as a “PR manager” and “climate warrior”, and called his career “a lesson in the art of lying”. [12]

        A real upstanding guy he is.

      • Doug says:

        Why did you edit your comment? You listed several years that were essentially equivalent, from 1998 to 2014 and asked if I noticed a trend. The answer is yes, absolutely. The trend is no warming for nearly twenty years, which is something none of the “experts” predicted.

        Are you saying you see nothing wrong with GISS stating something as fact when they’re more sure than not that the statement is false? I find it very disturbing.

      • johngalt says:

        The statement that 2014 was the warmest on record is scientifically and statistically accurate, given the GISS measurements. If it is in a statistical tie with two other (recent) years, then it is still the warmest year on record. All 15 of the warmest on record have occurred since 1998, so we might not have warmed further, which suggests nothing other than there is a variable in the climate models that has not been properly included. The last 15 years have also seen rather week and brief El Niño/La Niña cycles, which usually lead to warmer years.

        But read Chris’s comment, and actually stretch your brain to think about what he says. You’re trying to argue that whether last year was the warmest or merely tied for the warmest has some significance. It does not. But if you still think it does, I’ve got some property on Miami Beach I’d like to sell you.

      • dowripple says:

        Thanks for the info Tex, Doug’s prophet sounds like a real a-hole. Apparently Morano is also an expert on Swift-Boats and gays, how convenient. Is there anything this guy doesn’t have an expert, uninformed opinion on?

      • Doug says:

        “You’re trying to argue that whether last year was the warmest or merely tied for the warmest has some significance. It does not.”
        Not really. I’m arguing that the press release was deceptive, and I stick by that.

        texan, typical…but shooting the messenger does not change the message.

      • 1mime says:

        Not only will more Galveston homes float, but, there is going to be more public angst over who picks up the tab to replace infrastructure (sewer, water, electrical, roads). It’s one thing to be suffer a random natural disaster, it’s another to knowingly locate in areas vulnerable to rising seas. And, it’s not just residential and commercial construction that is impacted. There are major hospitals, schools, and other government services buildings that are in harms way presently.

        Sucker that I am, I’d like to see mankind take the steps we can to reduce and/or eliminate what problems are within our control and stop all the silly debate over “who caused what.” I’m into prevention, not finger pointing. That shouldn’t be a political decision, it is just common sense.

      • texan5142 says:

        Applause!

      • johngalt says:

        “Not really. I’m arguing that the press release was deceptive, and I stick by that.”

        You’re wrong, and I stick by that.

    • 1mime says:

      Suckers! Wow, that’s subtle, Doug. Those trusty little weather satellites may not be as helpful if Cruz rearranges the chairs in NASA’s program. Count me in with the Suckers.

  2. way2gosassy says:

    Republicans tout the Keystone pipeline as a jobs bill but refuse to use American made steel to build it. Now that really is a shame. At the same time a foreign owned company is seizing privately owned land in this country to continue building. So if this oil is such a big deal in Republican minds then why refuse to use it domestically.

    http://news.yahoo.com/senate-rejects-effort-ban-keystone-xl-pipeline-exports-213417728.html;_ylt=A0LEVyBeg8FURm4AahlXNyoA

  3. Turtles Run says:

    I believe scientist are able to distinguish CO2 emissions that occur naturally and those that caused by man-made activities.

    As I am not a scientist can one of our more scientifically inclined people here comment on this phenomenon?

    • johngalt says:

      Only partially. Duncan somewhere below suggested we can tell what CO2 in the atmosphere comes from human sources and what from natural. It’s not really as simple as that. There are two stable isotopes of carbon: one weights 12 daltons and the other 13 daltons. These do not decay and are stable indefinitely. C-12 makes up the vast majority – roughly 99%. There are small but reproducible differences in carbon from different sources. In the atmosphere, the C-13 form is slightly more abundant; in plants it’s slightly less abundant (by a fraction of a percent). Fossil fuels come almost entirely from decomposed plants, so will have a ratio close to that of ancient plants. When we burn those, then we release the plant’s (low) C-13/C-12 ratio into the atmosphere.

      Burn enough of it and we’ll change the atmospheric ratio. The pre-industrial ratio can be estimated from ice cores (the water frozen so long ago would have had a ratio similar to the atmosphere at the time) so, theoretically, the difference in the C-13/C-12 ratio in the atmosphere from 250 years ago to today is largely due to human activity (burning plant material from current and fossil sources). Indeed the atmospheric C-13/C-12 ratio is decreasing, but there are a large number of variables that make this not a simple calculation.

  4. johngalt says:

    The last numbers I can find on global CO2 emissions, from two or three years ago, were about 33 billion metric tons from man-made sources as a whole. This is one of those numbers that defies human understanding, so think of it this way: it is the equivalent of covering the state of Texas with a layer of pure CO2 24 m (79 ft) deep. And we do this every year, billions of tons in excess of what the natural carbon cycle can absorb.

    How someone could think that it is impossible for this to have any effect is beyond me.

    • Doug says:

      33 billion sounds like a lot until you realize that the entire atmosphere is about 6E15 tons. That’s equivalent to covering an area about 800 times the size of Texas (i.e. the entire Earth) to a depth of 62 *miles*. To get an appreciation for that, I’ll walk 79 feet, you walk 62 miles, and we’ll compare notes.

      The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere attributable to man is about 1 part in 10,000. It is trivial. Does it cause *some* warming? Almost certainly. Are we all going to die? Yes, but not from CO2.

      • 1mime says:

        Doug, here’s a subtle response. I don’t really care about which year was the hottest. I do care about melting ice caps and rising oceans, and what that means for we mammals that are unable to breathe under water. As has been mentioned earlier, those who feel man is contributing significantly to “climate change” also acknowledge a world that experiences change on its own. It’s not an “either or”; it’s both. It’s a matter of degree and intensity. When the combination, in any percentage you care to acknowledge begins to subsume land in massive acreage, we (all of us), must proactively commit to doing what we can to slow the process. It’s in all our best interests. When breathing requires masks, surely even hard-core deniers find it hard to ignore what is happening to air quality in Asia and heavy industrial zones in America and Europe.

        I am not anti-fossil fuels. We made our livelihood in this industry. But, I do believe we need to responsibly produce energy which should include con-commitment development AND use of alternative energy sources in order to have a better and cleaner environment. I don’t want our grandchildren to have to clean up our mess. I want government and capitalists to join with entrepreneurs who are doing innovative things to capture and sustainably re-cycle CO2 and Methane and protect our water and air.

        So, for me, it’s real simple. Let’s not argue over the semantics of “climate change”; instead, let’s work together to be better stewards of our environment so we can preserve it for posterity. The window of opportunity for us to avert climatic danger is small, so, to this extent, I am growing impatient and frankly, worried. I can’t do this by myself and I am tired of arguing when we should be addressing the problems.

  5. johnofgaunt75 says:

    I’m not a climate scientist; in fact, I am not any kind of scientist. I know very little about the subject. I also have a healthy dose of skepticism when I hear extremely dire predictions from people on one particular political persuasion or another.

    That all being said, I am also not stupid enough to think that our actions as a species do not have some actual affect on the natural world. Extinctions happen and man is often the sole reason. What happened to the Aral Sea was a direct result of the actions of man (and has been horrific to the region). I know about the Centralia Mine and the fact that the fire that has been burning since the early 1960’s has forced the abandonment of an entire American town. I have also seen, with my own eyes, the destruction wrought to the Salton Sea. It looks like something out of a science fiction movie. So, if the vast majority of climate scientists tell us that humans are having a significant negative effect on the climate, I have to listen.

    And hey, the way I see it, reducing the amount of coal and oil and other fossil fuels we use has other positive benefits. CO2 is not the only emission given off by the burning of such fuels. Spending anytime in Los Angeles or touring the always scenic eastern side of Houston will show you that. Those benefits alone seem reason enough to me to start to switch to a less carbon dependent economy.

    • 1mime says:

      John, it’s a “duh” kind of thing, don’t you think? Logic should permeate irrational thought when polution can be seen, touched, tasted, inhaled. Instead, ……… we hold symbolic votes to “endorse” climate change with the caveat that man doesn’t contribute to it. Boo Hoo.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Change is hard, especially for those that benefit from the status quo and the risks are not always readily apparent. Unless you live in an area like LA where pollution is seen and tasted on a regular basis or you live somewhere like Baytown where the view from your front porch is a refinery smoke stack, sometimes it’s hard to grasp the negative of the current situation.

        And people like to drive big cars (not just in this country but in other countries too). People like big houses. People like cheap, abundant energy. People like cheap stuff that is made of plastic that they can easily throw away and buy another. It’s hard to convince people that what they are doing on a day to day basis is actually making the world worse off. It’s hard to convince people to change.

        But yes, I agree that we need to change and that is precisely why we need the government to bring about that change. This cannot be voluntary because it will never happen.

      • 1mime says:

        I agree, John. Just like how we got to the moon. and developed microwaves, and computers…Those who think government is useful only to train our young men and women for wars we didn’t start, are the same people who fail to understand the good that government does. Is there inefficiency, graft, burdensome bureaucracy and regulations? Emphatically, Yes! But I sure like knowing that: my water is safe to drink; my air quality is known; the seafood I enjoy is safe and good; some states (not TX) keep industrial plants and fracking away from homes and aquafurs, contaminated poultry and foods are caught, drugs tested, automobile with defects recalled, cars are inspected, epidemics can be dealt with efficiently, ………………

    • vikinghou says:

      You can add the Dust Bowl years of the 1930s to the man-made catastrophe list. A few years ago Ken Burns produced an excellent documentary series on this subject. It’s a vivid illustration of how human activity can affect the natural world.

      • 1mime says:

        That was a great documentary. There are many books on the subject, starting with “The Grapes of Wrath”, John Steinbeck, and, more recently, “The Worst Hard Times:The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl, by Timothy Egan, more documentary than historical novel.

        If you ever doubt the struggles faced by the American farmer, Egan’s book will convince you.

  6. stephen says:

    I got a working bud who is a geologist. Very progressive to my conservative. Actual science being idealogical neutral we both are in agreement. This how we see it. We have global warming period. Have since the end of the last ice age. We both think man is contributing to it but the natural world is causing the most of it. But we cannot be sure of that.Interesting things have happen in the geological past that we cannot explain. And our modeling is still not that accurate. Regardless we will have to adapt to a warmer climate.The use of fossil fuels is not environmentally sound and causes damage to our Eco system and health . So we should move to clean energy and efficiency. Regardless the rest of the world is going to do that so we need to carve out a piece of that market for us.That we cannot do this all at once and need to do it gradually. Things like carbon sequestering and other pollution controls can bridge us until we develop and perfect the alternates. And using cleaner carbon energy can help to slow down the damage. We both work in the power industry. And right now one of our CEO’s main thrust is to become a premier green utility. We have been experimenting with green power and are moving towards it. That includes solar power and bio-gas. And we are looking to increase the nuclear part of our fuel portfolio. Wind power is not viable in our part of the country. Not all business leaders in my industry are hiding their heads in the sand.

    • rightonrush says:

      I agree with what and your friends say Stephen. I started years ago getting rid of my oil-coal etc. stock that I consider dirty. So far I’m doing okay in the green energy market. Not making a killing but also not contributing to the killing of my grandkids and their grandkids.

    • 1mime says:

      I have been impressed the the NRG commitment to becoming a green utility. I’ve heard the CEO interviewed a couple of times and he appears sincere and very committed to achieving this. What a model it will be for our energy industry!

      I’m encouraged to see that you and your geologist buddy who is a progressive to your conservative have found an area of agreement. That is precisely what Congress needs to do. There are many areas of disagreement; why not focus on those that we do agree on and compromise on the solutions? Good government, as it were.

    • You say – Humans are not causing this change?
      It’s easy to check on how much of the carbon is “our fault” – fossil carbon has a different isotope ration than current circulating carbon
      Please have a look at the history of the isotope ratios in CO2
      And then come back with a better idea of who/what is causing climate change

      • way2gosassy says:

        For those of you who can read this data this is the only credible source I found.

        http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/modern_isotopes.html

      • 1mime says:

        Duncan, who is “you” in your post? Enlighten us, please. Since I fall into the camp believing humans are contributing to climate change, I’d like to hear more about isotope ratios in CO2. That’s what we do here: share our opinions and pertinent information (as well as some well-placed zingers, from time to time). Each contributor has areas of expertise and this is obviously an area where you can make a contribution. So please tell us more about who/what is causing climate change, from your perspective.

  7. way2gosassy says:

    OT, but I could not let this pass. Today the House will vote for a huge tax increase on small businesses to advance their anti-abortion agenda. Really? A tax increase on the job creators, imagine that!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/22/republicans-tax-abortion_n_6523714.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

    It will indeed be another very hot year in more ways than one.

    • rightonrush says:

      “The bill “penalizes small businesses that offer comprehensive health coverage to female employees,”

      Boy, not only are they invading the ladies private parts, now they are telling small businesses how to run their business. I’m sick of them.

      • texan5142 says:

        Wow, just wow.

      • way2gosassy says:

        It’s a good thing you are financially secure as you head into retirement ROR and probably won’t have to depend on SS or Medicare as they went after those and disability on day one. Hubby and I will most likely be ok even with the 20% cut they are going for but it sure put a kink in our plans. Glad we paid cash for the house! at least we will have a roof over our heads.

      • rightonrush says:

        Sass, I’m damn close to being 70 yrs old and am just now getting comfortable with retiring. Savannah and I will be fine, we have no debts. However, It’s not me I worry about, it’s the good folks that have busted their arse for years and are now facing an uncertain future. I will never vote for another Republican, unless Chris runs for something.

      • way2gosassy says:

        While my health is improving somewhat since our move out of Houston I know that I will be leaving this earth a lot sooner than my hubby. I worry for him as well as all the folks I worked with that are younger than me that are on disability too.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Sassy, if I may ask, does air quality play a role in your health? Or is there some other reason leaving Houston helped you feel better?

      • way2gosassy says:

        Air quality absolutely played a big part in my health issues Bobo. Heat and humidity plus pollution levels were a big part of that aggravated my damaged lungs. Multiple exposures of anhydrous ammonia and sulfuric acid vapors over a period of 35 years of working in a chemical plant as well as asbestos primary and secondary exposures over a lifetime. At this time I do not have asbestosis but I do have plaque from the exposure so it is just a matter of time. Here the average temps are 20-25 degrees cooler and the humidity is much lower. My liver was also damaged as a result of my work. Since I have been here we eat better have less stress as a result my overall health has improved greatly. I can actually go for a walk in the woods and enjoy it!

      • 1mime says:

        Way2, I believe I’ll get on the “Sassy” train with others….So sorry to learn of your health issues but happy you are in a better place. Carpe Diem!

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Sassy, I’m sorry your work made you ill. That should never happen, especially in a rich nation like ours.

        Do you feel your employers provided enough protection? Enough information?

        If I’m being too snoopy, just let me know.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Sorry, Sassy, I sound like an idiot. I’m assuming you experienced accidental exposures, but what the hell do I know.

      • GG says:

        Good to hear you are better Sassy. I had no idea your move was due to health issues but, yes, Tennessee has weather much more conducive to better health.

      • way2gosassy says:

        GG Health issues were part of the reason. We both wanted our last chapter to be in a more relaxed way of living. This very small town we moved to has restored my faith in humans to be inclusive, accepting and charitable. I can’t say enough good about the people here!

        Bobo, I would never think of you as being too snoopy as I believe your inquiry to be of genuine concern. As for my work, on one hand I would have to say those exposures were accidental on the other I feel they could have done more in the way of prevention for me and others. The Texas Lege has made it near impossible for workers to be properly compensated for these kinds of injuries because causation is difficult to prove in a court of law. Chemical plants and refineries in Texas enjoy a lot of protection from the Gov. to the Atty. Gen. OSHA has been completely neutered and the EPA and Railroad Commission have no teeth at all.

        For everyone else, thanks for your concern and well wishes, I plan to hang around for awhile just to be an irritant for those on the fringe of right wing politics.

      • 1mime says:

        Sassy, you are doing a great job of fighting for truth with truth. Keep those posts and links coming!

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Well, Sassy, does the Texas Lege have any idea where the hell else you could get injuries like those? Infuriates me.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Hey Sassy, MY stress level just went up reading all about the lack of oversight in the Texas petrochemical industry! However, I’m glad the move to your little corner of utopia (or as close as anyone can get to it) you found has been a boon to your health physically and mentally (which is just as important in the quotient!). Great to hear about the lovely neighbors. Hopefully the boards here don’t jack with your stress hormones!

        And tell hubby I said hi. I should have mentioned a while back he saw my post and thoughtfully said hi for you on the chron boards and that you were doing well.

      • 1mime says:

        Can we continue to ignore what happened in West, TX? Or, at DuPont? Or, or….

        Regulations can be poorly designed but, on balance, I’d have to say that TX is resisting regulating industry for all the wrong reasons. Safety is secondary to currying favor with business and industry. Guess who loses? Never being willing to raise taxes to address infrastructure needs is more subtle but just as wrong-headed. Do we wait for the bridge to fall in before we allocate funds to strengthen it or replace it?

        The irony that the people of TX had to vote to authorize transfer of funds from the dedicated transportation fund is pretty pitiful. Citizens are asked to vote for a tax for a specific purpose with no real assurance the TX Legis will not divert the funds to other projects. And, you do not want to get me started on the Rainy Day Fund…..

      • way2gosassy says:

        Well Bobo be prepared to be really pissed. Greg Abbott has decided that communities in close proximity to chemical plants and refineries do not need to know what kind of hazards are sitting right next door. West, Texas is a fine example.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Sorry this got posted in the wrong thread!

        Bubba thanks, as for the stress on the boards here I think they took a vacation ; ).
        Hubby said to say hello to you too. I’m shocked he actually posted something.

      • way2gosassy says:

        “Can we continue to ignore what happened in West, TX? Or, at DuPont? Or, or…”

        Phillips Petroleum 1 and Phillips petroleum 2, Marathon Oil, Rohm and Haas, Chevron, Shell and Exxon all have major incidents that have either killed or injured countless people and impacted homes and people in surrounding areas. No zoning, no accountability, and a state government that could care less about the people than poking a finger in the eye of the federal government. Yeah, states rights and the South shall rise again! Add to that most of these companies risk management programs are designed to account for x number of fatalities and x number of injuries for x number of man hours worked as acceptable limits to avoid the cost of proactive maintenance and lost production.

        It is damn near impossible to prove a wrongful death case against any of these companies and most of the time the victims are assigned a percentage of blame in causing their own deaths thus further reducing any compensation to a family. Until a few years ago these companies wrote “peasant policies” on their employees which were a “free” life insurance policy for the employee which typically paid about 10-50 thousand dollars and the company would be paid in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. There really isn’t much of a downside for companies to care a whole lot about you. Practically all that stood between you and this were the unions. Thanks to the Republicans in Texas it is now a right to work state and the unions here have had their teeth pulled as a result.

    • 1mime says:

      They. Will. Not. Learn.

      • way2gosassy says:

        2016, hopefully, will be the year they finally get it.

      • Hi 1mime,
        the “you” was “stephen” – and he “believed” that humans were causing climate change

        I was referencing actual data that confirmed this

        Way2gosassy has posted a link to the actual data – it’s very interesting

      • way2gosassy says:

        Hi Duncan, I looked at the data in the link I posted and wasn’t sure if this was what you were referencing.
        Johngalt posted this above “Burn enough of it and we’ll change the atmospheric ratio. The pre-industrial ratio can be estimated from ice cores (the water frozen so long ago would have had a ratio similar to the atmosphere at the time) so, theoretically, the difference in the C-13/C-12 ratio in the atmosphere from 250 years ago to today is largely due to human activity (burning plant material from current and fossil sources). Indeed the atmospheric C-13/C-12 ratio is decreasing, but there are a large number of variables that make this not a simple calculation.”

        Based on what he said and what I know from history it makes sense that human activity does play a large part.
        Coal burning in London as early as the 13th century was determined to be the cause of early death because of the smoke and pollution controls were made law as early as 1273. I found this site looking for a story I had read in school.

        http://www.air-quality.org.uk/02.php

      • 1mime says:

        Sassy, with maybe one or two exceptions, I think it’s safe to say: “You are preaching to the choir!” Good logic and link.

    • way2gosassy says:

      Bubba thanks, as for the stress on the boards here I think they took a vacation ; ).

  8. BigWilly says:

    And Beyonce’s just gonna make it hotter ’till Huck begins to holler.

    Has the party reached its Nadir? Can it go any lower? What, is this a luau?

    It’s a great opportunity for the GOP to get an issue “right,” but I suspect we’ll be taking the path that leads to destruction both literally and figuratively.

    Maybe I should say “They’ll,” because this is my stop coming up here. I can’t ID with the party thing anymore.

    Just say No! to remote control.

  9. texan5142 says:

    The stupid, it burns.

    “Climate always changed,” Inhofe said, noting there was archaeological, historic and “biblical evidence” of that.

    “The hoax is, that there are some people who think they are so arrogant to think that they are so powerful that they can change the climate. Man can’t change climate,” Inhofe insisted.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/01/senate-republicans-admit-climate-change-is-real-cite-biblical-evidence/

    • goplifer says:

      A United States Senator is troubled by the absence of “Biblical” evidence to support the case for climate change. Meanwhile, elsewhere on the planet we are dropping bombs on dangerous religious fundamentalists to stop them spreading an ideology that ignores science, oppresses women, and rolls back the clock to the 12th century. It’s a funny world.

      • 1mime says:

        Lifer, you know that it’s different when we do it! America is exceptional, right? Right. But, some of our “best and brightest” in Congress are doing their best to screw things up.

    • flypusher says:

      That fact that climate changes on its own in no way precludes the possibility of human activity introducing its own changes. That’s one if the most bogus and ignorant denier arguments out there.

      So I guess Inhofe would consider the cyanobacteria to be quite the arrogant little bastards, as they actually had the nerve to make a huge change to the atmosphere.

      • texan5142 says:

        For some reason the deniers can not grasp the fact that it is the rate of climate change that human activity is responsible for, not climate change per se. Yes climate change is natural, it is the rate and intensity that is not.

        I am not a scientist, just an observer……….wait……observation is the basis for most science…..damn it….now my head is swelling up with false bravado.

      • GG says:

        Oh, I like the ones who gloatingly say “oh, blizzard up North. So much for global warming.” They don’t have the slightest clue what it is and they wallow in their own ignorance or should I say whatever O’Reilly and Fox News tells them to believe.

  10. desperado says:

    I’m not a scientist, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

  11. texan5142 says:

    Well, I have studied science for years, you could say I am a free lance science scholar. The formally trained scientist are payed shills for the democrat progressive agenda of world domination.

  12. flypusher says:

    There was a previous conversation on this topic, where the point of what about all the good stuff that comes from energy use and why aren’t you acknowledging that came up. I went on vacation and thus dropped out, and I’m feeling too lazy to dig it up. So I’ll continue it here; I see an analogy between use of energy and use of credit. If I use credit prudently, I can very much enhance my quality of life. I can get things that I couldn’t get otherwise if I had to pay all the cash up front. But if I use it rashly and irresponsibly, someday the bill comes due, and disaster ensues. Likewise with energy use. If we look just at all the great things it gives us, but turn a blind eye to the damage it does, some day we’re going to get a very nasty “credit score”.

  13. flypusher says:

    “Perhaps as Miami becomes America’s Venice, public opinion will start to shift.”

    Given FL’s political choices, there is some poetic justice in them getting hit 1st.

    • 1mime says:

      Don’t forget LA! Maybe the disgruntled citizens of Gulf states should re-locate the governors’ mansions and state legislatures to have a nice water view……that would create jobs (building all those monuments) and take out a lot of non-essentials as they sink into the 3′ water table. They better wear their bread bags to work because, In La, when there’s flooding, the buses don’t run (-: and they’ll never make it to the Superdome !

  14. Doug says:

    “Last year was the hottest on record, again.”

    We need to stop wasting money on satellites if we’re just going to ignore the data.

    • 1mime says:

      Doug, don’t forget that there is a Congressman somewhere whose major benefactor builds these satellites we don’t need, just like those jets that the Pentagon doesn’t want and cost millions. Capitalism and cronyism in one fell swoop (-:

      • Doug says:

        Apparently my post was a little to subtle. 2014 was no where near a record according to the satellite data. You have to take surface data, plug in made up values for half the land area where there is no data, then juggle the numbers a bit to come up with a 38% *probability* that 2014 was the hottest year, by an astounding 0.02 degrees. That means there was a 62% probability it wasn’t, even with all the number fudging going on. There is a 100% probability it was not according to the satellites. But let’s just ignore those pesky things.

        Oh, they didn’t mention the probability part in the press release, did they? Funny how that works.

  15. flypusher says:

    A few years back, I heard Mike Huckabee, in a radio interview, explaining how he was a “conservationist” as opposed to an “environmentalist”. We all know how Huck often lets slip things he doesn’t realize. This was typical. He elaborated on why he was a conservationist; it was because he believes that nature exists to serve mankind. That’s quite typical of many religious people, and I can’t think of many mindsets that are more ignorant and dangerous. Nature serves no one. Nature plays no favorites. It can take us out just as it took out dinosaurs or trilobites or any other species that was once flourishing and dominant.

    • GG says:

      “it was because he believes that nature exists to serve mankind.”

      Talk about arrogance. Mother Nature is a force unto herself and will shake us off like a bad case of fleas when we become too irritating. If you want to talk about gods, she is the ultimate deity. Cruel, capricious, wondrous and nurturing if we are smart.

      • way2gosassy says:

        WOW GG you knocked that one outta the park!

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        !

      • GG says:

        Thank you Sassy. While I’m not a religious person I truly believe the Earth is a living entity in her own way and has a way of fixing irritants like overpopulation. Every living thing is connected and every species plays a part from the lowly mosquito to man. Unfortunately, we tend to abuse our role and upset the fine balance. The religious nuts can’t get this through their thick, moronic skulls. They think God will fix everything for them. I won’t even call them knuckle dragging Neanderthals because it insults Neanderthals.

    • 1mime says:

      The Indians respected that, Fly, and look where it got them.

  16. bubbabobcat says:

    I love President Obama’s response to the new Republican ignorant denial tactic of Global Warming by claiming they are not scientists (paraphrasing):

    “Well I KNOW scientists and I believe and trust what they all say that human impact on climate change is a major concern.”

    • flypusher says:

      But don’t you know that all scientists are just intellectual prostitutes whose findings support the agendas of those who give that lots of $$$$?????????

      (For you new people, that was saturated with sarcasm.)

  17. vikinghou says:

    There are basically four scenarios.

    1. There is NO global warming and we do nothing.
    2. There IS global warming and we do nothing.
    3. There is NO global warming and we take action.
    4. There IS global warming and we take action.

    If scenario 1 is true, well GREAT. If scenario 2 is true, catastrophe will ensue. If 3 is true, money will be spent and the likelihood of technological advances and better health for many individuals will be a byproduct. If 4 is true, the world wins.

    I think the smart thing to do is take action. If we are wrong, there are still some positive benefits. If we don’t take action and we are wrong, the consequences are severe.

    Shouldn’t we approach this the same way we approach our individual health? Preventive action is preferred over wait and see until it’s too late.

    • flypusher says:

      Obligatory:

      What if we create a better world for nothing? (Cartoon)

      • Turtles Run says:

        Beat me to it….

        (shakes tiny fist)

      • GG says:

        I’m sure the Libertarians would bitch about it taking away their personal freedom to pollute and consume as much as they want according to the Constitution. 😉

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        wow,

        I was reading the comments and about to post how I don’t argue manmade climate change any more. I just talk about expensive energy, the environmental problems with gas & oil production, and what it does to our health. Cause I assume that argument gets us to the same place.

        This cartoon says it very well.

    • 1mime says:

      Vikhou – you are way too rational. There is a fifth scenario: there is global warming and we take action too late.

      • vikinghou says:

        Yes, and it’s probably a likely outcome. I suppose, from a practical point of view, it’s a subset of scenario 2.

  18. Bobo Amerigo says:

    Really nice essay, Chris.

    • johngalt says:

      The last numbers I can find on global CO2 emissions, from two or three years ago, were about 33 billion metric tons from man-made sources as a whole. This is one of those numbers that defies human understanding, so think of it this way: it is the equivalent of covering the state of Texas with a layer of pure CO2 24 m (79 ft) deep. And we do this every year, billions of tons in excess of what the natural carbon cycle can absorb.

      How someone could think that it is impossible for this to have any effect is beyond me.

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