Read a little. Learn a lot. • Tightly-written news, views and stuff • Follow us on TwitterBe a Facebook FanTumble us!

02 Jan 2012 11:21


World: Global warming e-mail whodunit heats up as new e-mails surface

  • It smells a lot like a certain quadrant of the denier community. They pretend to be concerned that we are impeding development in poor countries. Only certain think tanks think that way and play that way.
  • Greenpeace research director Kert Davies • Discussing who he thinks might be behind an infamous 2009 hack that led to the distribution of over 1,000 e-mails from the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, timed in such a way to undercut research being done on global warming. The story, on the backburner for nearly two years, is suddenly starting to simmer again as a result of further e-mail releases and word of an investigation in Britain. During the most recent leak of e-mails, the leaker offered up just enough details in cryptic messages to give investigators something to grasp onto. Many in the climate change community — skeptics, activists and so on — have different views on the motives of the person who released the e-mails, but it’s a whodunit which should keep things interesting in the coming weeks. source

08 Dec 2011 14:14


World: Inaction feared at climate change conference in Durban, South Africa

  • In a time of constraints, in a time of crisis, in a time of tough budgets, people are saying that charity starts at home, that we cannot deal with something noble but medium and long-term like the environment.
  • Angel Gurria, chief of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development • Discussing the stumbling inaction by the global community in adequately addressing the issue of climate change. 194 nations are currently convened in Durban, South Africa for a major conference on climate change, one which strives to reach agreements on carbon control to continue the process begun by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol; the EU has said they will not renew their emissions reduction standards unless measures are adopted so that all countries (most importantly the United States and China, the world’s worst polluters) must hold to certain emissions standards as well. This has caused turmoil in the discussions, as many less developed nations insist they haven’t been to blame for the surge in carbon to date, and thus shouldn’t be penalized as they now strive to industrialize. source

06 Dec 2011 21:25


Politics: Jon Huntsman turns tail on climate change rhetoric

  • There is — there are questions about the validity of the science, evidenced by one university over in Scotland recently. I think the onus is on the scientific community to provide more in the way of information, to help clarify the situation.
  • Jon Huntsman • Betraying his earlier stance on climate change, which had won him some respect in environmentally-minded quarters. To be clear, this is in stark contradiction to the Jon Huntsman of months past. For instance, in August: “To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.” Honestly, we’re surprised by this. Huntsman’s prior stance impressed us, despite a very skeptical GOP base. We thought his conviction on this issue was pretty strong, especially as he voiced it during a televised debate, but now it seems he’s flip-flopped to add juice to a recent polling uptick. source

21 Nov 2011 23:32


World: UN greenhouse gas study: Carbon dioxide levels reach new high

  • 2.3 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere between 2009 and 2010, a big leap from the last decade’s average of 2.0 ppm
  • 64% of climate warming is due to carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels, deforestation and changes in land usage, a UN study says source

25 Oct 2011 14:44


World: Prof. Richard Muller, leading climate change skeptic, changes his tune

  • When we began our study, we felt that skeptics had raised legitimate issues, and we didn’t know what we’d find. Our results turned out to be close to those published by prior groups. We think that means that those groups had truly been careful in their work, despite their inability to convince some skeptics of that.
  • UC Berkeley physics professor Richard Muller • Explaining how he went from being a prominent figure in the world of climate change skepticism and denial, to somebody convinced of its reality. Muller was no shrinking violet on this matter; he had once decried the scientific consensus on this issue as “polluted by political and activist frenzy.” However, after heading up the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which analyzed a tremendous amount of temperature data, Muller found that his numbers matched up neatly with the scientific consensus on climate change (he found the earth’s temperature has risen about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1950s). Muller’s conclusion? “Global warming is real.” source

18 Oct 2011 00:18


World: As the ice caps get smaller, so do Earth’s plants and animals. Wait, what?

  • 45% of species are shrinking over time, a new study says source
  • » Blame climate change, the study says: It’s like scary, natural shrink ray. But, yep, animals such as fish, reptiles, birds and mammals are all smaller than generations previous — apparently a difference of one degree celsius is enough to make things smaller. The researchers, who published their study in the journal Nature Climate Change, warn to not jump to conclusions, though: “We do not yet know the exact mechanisms involved, or why some organisms are getting smaller while others are unaffected,” the authors of the study, based at the National University of Singapore, said in an interview. “Until we understand more, we could be risking negative consequences that we can’t yet quantify.”

17 Oct 2011 11:22


Biz: Has-bean? Starbucks worried climate change will damage coffee supply

  • They say they’re already seeing the effects: Could you imagine a world without Starbucks … or coffee? That’s what officials for the world’s largest caffeine hawker are seriously worried about, especially after a fairly busy hurricane season and more resistant bugs. The company has even considered partly converting many outlets to juice bars. “What we are really seeing as a company as we look 10, 20, 30 years down the road – if conditions continue as they are – is a potentially significant risk to our supply chain, which is the Arabica coffee bean,” says the company’s sustainability director, Jim Hanna. Three words, Jim: Yerba Mate Frappuccino. (photo via TPEGroup Photography & Design’s Flickr page) source

11 Jul 2011 23:17


Politics: Bachmann throws herself a softball

  • fantasy “I will work to end cap-and-trade as President of the United States,” Michele Bachmann said in a statement yesterday.
  • reality It’ll be a hard promise to keep, because federal cap-and-trade doesn’t exist. Maybe she’ll implement it, then repeal it? source

07 Jul 2010 11:57


World: Snaps: Fox News completely ignoring the Climategate findings

  • Reuters is also greatly underplaying the story at the very bottom of their front page. But at least they’re playing it, unlike Fox News, which spilled a lot of ink on it when it first broke. It’s only on their world page as a result of partner member The Wall Street Journal running a story about it (and them linking to it at the very bottom of the page). While not the biggest story on the digest, the initial controversy around Climategate – often a punching bag for skeptics of climate change – makes it a pretty important story to have something about. Other sites are covering it like so:
  • CNN: Lead storyIn a lot of ways, the controversy around climate change is stronger in the U.S. than elsewhere in the world, so big play here makes sense.
  • Guardian: Lead StoryNo individual source owned the Climategate story as much as The Guardian did, so it’s not surprising to see them giving it big play.


  • Google news: A lead itemWhile the Russian spy swap and the NBA’s free agency craziness are ahead of it, Google’s algorithms are giving it decent play.
  • BBC: Secondary storyDespite the fact that the controversy is based around a British university, the BBC chose to play up Nicolas Sarkozy instead.


  • New York Times: DownpageWhile given decent play, it’s not the site’s lead story this morning. They went with the Russian spy-trading story instead.
  • MSNBC: DownpageYou have to go nearly halfway down the page to see the site covering this at all, which is pretty strange if you ask us.

07 Jul 2010 10:23